Kate's Note

Many years ago, I attended an open call for a Broadway show. As part of union requirements all shows on the Great White Way must have calls every six months, whether they need  dancers or not. There were hundreds of young women decked out in great outfits, perfect makeup and quaffed hair. They were completely jazzed about getting their 15 minutes to show the casting directors why they should be hired. Dressed very classically in all black, ballet shoes and very little make up, I stood out for all the wrong reasons. I had hoped that directors would look at my resumé (which was not bad), but they never did. I was cut before I could blink.

 

The good news? I took so much away from the experience! Most importantly, I learned that at a Broadway or commercial audition, you’ve got about 30 seconds to show the people who matter most not only what you can do, but the essence of who you are. They’ve got to see your spark—fast!

 

Case in point: Danielle Polanco, this month’s cover girl. Danielle is a prolific commercial dancer with a versatile dance background, and in March she’ll make her Broadway debut as Consuela in West Side Story (see “Who’s That Girl” by Abigail Rasminsky, p. 48).She doesn’t have the classical background many of the other lead dancers in the show have, but she is bold! Choreographer Joey McKneely noticed her zesty personality immediately, and she was hired after only two auditions!

 

This issue of Dance Spirit is packed with audition advice—from a short Up Front interview with “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Mary Murphy (p. 24) to choreographer Julia Adam’s “Letter to My Teenage Self” (in which she talks about what she looks for in a dancer, p. 28) to “Impress and Be Your Best,” our 10 must-read audition tips (p.66). On page 46, check out our first-ever audition makeover! Then, read through our fabulous Auditions Guide (p. 68) to get the 411 on more than 100 auditions you can attend!

 

Also, don’t miss our fashion coverage on page 38 featuring the Pretty Girls of Dance (counterpart to the Bad Boys of Dance).

 

Enjoy! And remember: Enter your next audition with confidence about who you are and what you have to offer. Train hard beforehand so that once you’re there, you can fully concentrate on the choreography, proper audition etiquette and your performance.

 

Good luck!

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 courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search