Audition Advice from Three Top Summer Intensive Directors
For many students, attending a summer intensive can offer the chance of a lifetime to focus exclusively on dance and experience the rigorous lifestyle of a pre-professional dancer. But with so many options and increasing competition, auditions can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we gathered insider tips from three top summer program directors.
Tammy Cheney, Alonzo King LINES Ballet summer program director
"Take class with an open and curious spirit. Explore new ideas presented by the teacher. Dance with confidence. There are no mistakes, only opportunities. We look for well-trained, passionate, deep-thinking students with a ferocious work ethic who are eager to explore their artistry."
Tammy Cheney, left. LINES students photographed by Andy Mogg, right.
Patrick Armand, San Francisco Ballet School director
"Wear something that makes you feel confident, but keep it simple and clean. Take the time to warm up and get focused before the audition. Stay relaxed, have fun and remember to breathe. Don't let your nerves get in the way of enjoying the experience."
Patrick Armand teaching. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy SFB
Kate Lydon, ABT Studio Company and summer intensive artistic director
"We are looking for technique, artistry, musicality and intelligence. But perhaps most importantly, we look for potential. We notice the dancers who seem to have the desire and passion to learn and who are open to corrections and improving."
Kate Lydon teaching. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy ABT
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.
On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.
SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.