Get Dessert.

I attended my first NY audition yesterday. Let me tell you I was scared. I've auditioned for all kinds of things before and had good and bad experiences (ever blank mid-pirouette? I have.), but never in NY. This is where the best dancers are, and I was intimidated. What if I stuck out and looked like I didn't belong, wore the wrong thing, did my hair and makeup wrong, what if we had to tap??? And what if I choked?


Don't worry, I didn't choke. But I did get cut. If I wasn't cut, I would be at the callback right now, not writing this blog... But it wasn't horrible. I didn't stick out in a bad way, I even felt like I belonged. Kind of a cool feeling. The funny thing was, the movement was really, really easy. Seriously, we barely moved our feet. But the musicality, now that was tricky and speedy. When we began to learn the combination the choreographer announced that he was looking for actors, and to get the very precise movement, but more importantly, act the role. And while I did fine, he only felt that about 6-8 of the 25 dancers in my group were sufficient in their acting abilities to stay for the next round. Ah, you win some, you lose some.


As a dancer, I keep noticing how important acting and performance skills are to my teachers and choreographers. I took a theater dance class at Steps last week taught by Diana Laurenson, a former Fosse dancer and Broadway veteran. Another former Fosse dancer who had worked with Laurenson in the past also took class, it was fun to hear them chat about their experiences working together in the theater. Anyway, Laurenson was trying to get us to use our focus in order to increase our performance level and draw the audience into us. She told us to imagine that the mirror was the audience:


"Look into the audience and find your victim in the 12th row of the orchestra section. Ask them to dinner. They're buying"


And then later on:


"Find your victim again. They're taking you to dinner. Get dessert."


So scandalous, Ms. Laurenson!


Latest Posts

Protocol like mandatory face masks, temperature checks, and careful class staging have become the norm at comps and conventions like NYCDA (Evolve Photo & Video, courtesy NYCDA)

4 Industry Leaders Walk Us Through the State of the Competition/ Convention World

After a year of tumult, virtual events and constantly moving targets, it's more than reasonable to wonder: What exactly is the state of the competition world?

For months, we didn't see our favorite friends and teachers unless it was through a screen—now, against all odds, programs are rising from the ashes to bring you meaningful training and performance opportunities both in person and online. We asked four prominent competition/convention directors to give you the inside scoop on what to expect from this season (and, yes, that includes Nationals).

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
What happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? (Getty Images/kf4851)

What to Do When Your Dance Teacher Says You're Not Pointe Ready

Since the day you pulled on your first leotard, you have no doubt been dreaming of the day you would attend your first pointe shoe fitting. Going on pointe is a rite of passage as a ballet dancer, and the result of years of hard work.

But what happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? It's totally understandable to be disappointed and frustrated if your teacher doesn't move you on pointe, but don't lose faith in yourself. "I've seen a lot of dancers go on pointe over the years," says Josephine Lee, professional pointe shoe fitter and founder of The Pointe Shop. "I don't think I have ever seen a dancer who was held back from pointework feel like they were behind in the long run."

Ideally, your teacher has laid out clear guidelines for what makes a dancer pointe-ready. But if they haven't, there are some milestones that ballet professionals are looking for to give the green light for your first pair of shoes. Factors like your age, technique level, range of motion and strength all come into play. And the good news is that if going on pointe is a goal for you, there are proactive ways that you can get there.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Because it seemed like time to revisit yet another Barbie classic (Getty Images/M-A-U)

55 Thoughts I Had Rewatching "Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses" as an Adult

I have a confession to make: I think I only saw this movie once during my childhood. By the time this film was released, I had already begun to outgrow my Barbie fandom.

But if TikTok is any indication, Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses is a fan favorite among Barbie movie connoisseurs. What could be better than one dancing princess Barbie? Twelve dancing princesses Barbies, of course!

Naturally, I have high hopes going into this movie. Here are my moment-by-moment reactions to what many consider to be the *absolute zenith* of Barbie ballet movies.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search