Get Into The Groove: DS assistant/fashion editor Michael Anne Bailey dishes about the latest Madonna audition

One rainy day in September, I set out for NYC’s Broadway Dance Center to watch some of the city’s hottest performers audition for a shot to dance on Madonna’s next tour. The contest, a part of the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, will conclude with a dance off (between the BDC live-audition finalist and 10 web finalists) at the project’s main event—a giant dance party!—in NYC on November 12.

As I turned onto 45th Street, dancers were lined up all the way down the block in front of the studio, some anxiously waiting to get inside, others busting a move for the camera crews. One girl with super-teased ‘80s curls and a cropped, sequined jacket went full-out, giving her best “Material Girl”-inspired freestyle. Upstairs, dancers were taken to a prescreening room where they were given one minute to improvise. Based on their performances, it was decided whether they would move forward and dance for Madonna’s head choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega (DS May/June 2011).

The first few dancers on the floor lacked energy and technique, leaving me wondering if I was in for a very long day. Then, in walked Hurricane. I chuckled as he introduced himself, but when the music began, energy exploded from every limb—he definitely lived up to his name. Hurricane’s flirty smile and out-of-this-world tricks bumped him to the top of my list and, as expected, he was sent directly to audition for Rich and Tone.

Though there were few like Hurricane, I was impressed by the performers who gave it their all—and those are the kinds of dancers we see tearing it up behind Madonna on tour. So at your next audition—whether it’s for Britney or The Nutcracker—don’t hold back!

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search