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.