From having my bottom measured and photographed (up-close) to freestyling topless in nothing but a G-String - I’d say I’ve experienced my fair share of SHOCKING auditions. Here are my top 3 most SHOCKING audition experiences:
1. Dance Audition or X-Factor Audition?
This audition began pretty standard. After learning a routine and splitting up into groups, the choreographer informed us on how the audition was going to proceed. There were four members on the panel (judges apparently) who would each take a turn to look you in the eye, immediately after you have danced, to say either “yes, thank you” or “no, thank you.” Three yeses or more meant you could stay.
If you are a dancer, I can actually see the look of horror on your face. Yep. This happened. If, however, you are not a dancer - you may not know how an audition typically runs. Here is a standard audition description:
*Learn a routine.
*Perform the routine in small groups.
*Wait for panel to discuss.
*If your name is called out, you can stay to learn the next combo.
*The panel thanks unsuccessful auditionees for attending.
*Unsuccessful auditionees leave quietly, knowing they have been treated with respect.
None of the auditions I’m writing about today followed this structure. Hence the SHOCK value.
2. Curtain up, Boobs out
I’ve actually done two topless auditions, both very different from each other. One was liberating, the other - cringe worthy.
This particular audition required complete improvisational skills. We were told to walk onto the stage (one at a time) while the curtain was closed and prepare ourselves in a starting position. A different song would play at random for each girl. The curtain would rise to reveal the panel sitting in the audience while you danced. They wanted to see your personality and how you engaged with the audience. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I completely forgot I was topless. The stage was all mine - I had never felt so confident.
Alternatively, my other topless experience took a much more brutal approach, similar to the X-Factor style audition. After learning a routine and performing in small groups (with our tops still on at this stage), we were told to line up. The director approached us one by one, down the line, eliminating auditionees with the words “thank you for coming”.
This process was repeated (with the same routine) over and over. We probably performed the same combo at least 5 times. After the director was happy with who was left, we went on to learn a new combo (this was to see who was fit enough to keep up their energy).
Next, it was tops off in a line from shortest to tallest (I was the shortest). One by one, we had to step forward and do “slow arm movements” to no music. LOL. What is my life?!
3. When you don’t Measure up
There have been many times where I’ve ended up the shortest girl left at the end of an audition. Out comes the measuring tape - and height isn’t all that gets measured. One audition in particular, we were told to face the back while one by one, they measured us and took close-up pictures of our bottoms. Awkward to say the least.
On another occasion, I was stopped and taken aside, half way through what ended up being a 6 hour long audition. I was told to stand against the mirror where they had a piece of tape stuck, identifying the minimum height requirement. I didn’t quite measure up. The director told me I had the choice to either leave now and go shopping on Oxford Street or stay and finish the audition if I wanted to. I laughed on the inside at her choice of options, and told her I would stay.
Shocking as these auditions may be, the reality is that dancers are always judged this harshly, whether it’s done respectfully or not. This being said, wouldn’t it be great if dancers were ALWAYS treated with respect? There are right and wrong ways to go about auditioning (and I haven’t even covered half of them). Us dancers are not getting paid to be there, we often have NO IDEA what the job pays or what the hell the panel is looking for. It’s hard enough as it is, without feeling ridiculed in the process. Let’s talk about this. Start the conversation and create some positive change!
Sending love and positivity to you all!