Courtesy Broadway Dance Center

Agents' Secrets: 5 Talent Agents' Tips for Mastering Commercial Auditions

What are the best ways to prepare for an audition?

Photo by Levi Walker, Courtesy CTG

"Research as much as you can about the project or choreographer. When a dancer is prepared, they tend to be more focused, more relaxed and really able to show themselves at their best. If the choreographer happens to be teaching at a local studio beforehand, get in that class!"

—Brandon Sierra, Clear Talent Group


What makes for good audition materials?

Photo Courtesy Bloc

"Make sure you understand what photos you need and in which format. Whoever is looking at the picture needs to clearly see your face, eyes and what you actually look like. A pet peeve of mine is too long of a resumé when you repeat the same artist over and over. Take the best of what you've done, and list the most current projects, rather than something you did eight years ago."

—Laney Filuk, Bloc Agency

Should a dancer develop a signature look or tailor it for each audition?

Photo by Vince Trupsin, Courtesy MSA

"It all comes down to the confidence factor. You don't want to go in with things that might shake up your confidence, whether that's your hair, what you're wearing or your makeup. You want to stand out but not in a way that's awkward or obnoxious. If you're going to emulate a character or portray a look, make sure it's an extension of who you are—it should never feel like a costume. That's not authentic."

—JC Gutierrez, McDonald/Selznick Associates

How can you make yourself stand out at a large open call?

Photo by Lindsay Rosenberg, Courtesy Go 2 Talent Agency

"The people that can let that stress roll off and delve into the emotion of the choreography are the ones that bubble to the top. Remember that you're being watched immediately when you start learning the combination. I think choreographers are attracted to dancers who digest their style right away. That shows that you're detail-oriented and translates to a certain level of professionalism. And if they say, 'Does someone want to dance again?' Do it!"

—Terry Lindholm, Go 2 Talent Agency

How much do you consider a dancer's attitude?

Photo by Vince Trupsin, Courtesy MSA

"A dancer's mind-set and the way they present themselves is profound. We're expecting you to be a tremendous dancer, so what other attributes can you bring to the table? If you want to be a collaborator and have longevity, that means being positive and supporting others in the industry."

—Shelli Margheritis, McDonald/Selznick Associates

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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