Taking The Next Step II

CBBC is offering young dancers aged 9-15 from across the UK a special opportunity – to audition for the chance to be part of a television show, performing with the cast of the hugely successful series, The Next Step. In order to apply, after gaining parental permission, all dancers need to do is complete an application form and send in a video of their best dance moves. Dancers must be aged between 9 and 15 years old on 1 April 2017.

Continue reading Taking The Next Step II

Singing and dancing service

A branch of the popular fast-food chain Leon has said it will only be hiring staff who can sing and dance. In this bold new move, it vows that hiring individuals of this stature will mean it will be easier for staff to take time off to prepare for and go to auditions. The particular chain which advocates this is located opposite the Queen’s Theatre in London, where the iconic musical Les Misérables is currently running.

The Leon branch said it would be holding auditions to recruit its staff at the end of January, looking to hire a large team of 40 performers as its serving staff. It is well documented that it can be difficult for performers to attend auditions for performance work, due to the fact they are limited by the hours of work they must do in between these jobs. By working for this branch of the Leon chain, performers have more freedom to attend those auditions which they may not have previously been able to consider.

In a bonus to working at such a considerate and understanding organisation, the restaurant will also allow the staff to perform for customers during shifts. From practising their new audition repertoire to performing their favourite time steps, customers in the Leon branch are surely in for a treat as they get more than they pay for. Leon’s co-founder John Vincent told the Evening Standard newspaper that the company wanted to provide a stage for West End hopefuls, both by hiring them as employees and allowing them to perform for customers.

On its website, Leon say its vision is to ‘prove that it was possible to serve food that both tastes good and does you good, and there is no denying the fact that customers will sure receive this in the branch opposite the Les Misérables theatre.

Becoming a Professional

Dance AuditionsMaking the transition from student to professional is a hazy one – dancers can gain employment whilst in full-time training and there are factors that can help navigate the transition. Aside from having talent and passion, dancers need to be self-motivated, persistent and professional. It’s also much easier to survive if you are liked by your peers and professionals, and have a reputation of working hard and making the most of every opportunity.

It is important to remain motivated and take class, to keep up to date in the industry and with the new faces. Work may not come along for a while, but it’s important to keep your face out there and remind teachers, agents and other dancers that you are there. Dancers may also need to take on other forms of casual employment to pay the bills. For many, this means teaching or waiting tables; whatever it is, having the flexibility to get to classes and auditions is essential so that you can be as fit and ready for work as possible.

Finding an agent is a high priority for graduates as there are many jobs that only agents hear about and because they can negotiate agreements. Some agents attract a variety of work and others specialise in one or two areas, so make sure they have a reputation for getting the type of work you’re interested in. It may be that you cannot find an agent until you have some experience, so remember that there are still open calls, particularly for jobs such as theme parks, cruise ships, and other shows.

Auditions are a big part of a dancer’s life so it’s vital to cultivate a positive attitude and develop a thick skin. Keep in mind that each audition you attend is an opportunity to show what you can do, whether or not you get the job. If you aren’t right for the job this time, make sure you impress someone enough for a job in the future. Always ask yourself what you can improve on from the experience that will help you get closer to getting the job next time.

Billy Elliot the Musical is Auditioning!

Dance Auditions

It’s that time of year again for young dancers everywhere – audition time!

Billy Elliot the Musical is currently looking for boys aged 9 to 13 years to audition for the roles of Billy and Michael, and girls aged 9 to 12 years to audition for the role of Debbie in the West End production. In addition to these ballet shoe donning roles, the team is also touring the country in search of toe-tapping youngsters, visiting:

  • Leeds on 12 January 2013,
  • Newcastle on 2 February 2013,
  • London on 9 March 2013,
  • Bristol on 20 April 2013
  • and Manchester on 18 May 2013.

It’s time to pull on your ballet tights and pirouette your way to the nearest audition!

For Billy and Michael, as part of the on-going audition process, tap and ballet experience are a bonus. Candidates must be a maximum height of 5ft, with no broken voices. For Debbie, candidates must be 9 to 12 years of age, and under 4ft 8. Some ballet experience is required for the role of Debbie, which is only being auditioned in Newcastle.

Candidates need to come ready to dance first and possibly sing afterwards, wearing comfortable clothes with all dance shoes and trainers, rather than the usual Lycra, leotards or jazz pants!

There are also ongoing auditions for Small Boys, a Tall Boy and Ballet Girls. Small Boys, as an ensemble role, must be aged 6 to 10 years being no taller than 4ft for this acting role, which requires no singing or dancing. Tall Boy must be aged 10 to 12 years, being no taller than 4ft 10, and this role is again an acting role, with no singing or dancing required. Lastly, Ballet Girls should be between 9 and 13 years of age, less than 5ft and have achieved a minimum of Grade 4 in tap and ballet. Candidates for these roles must live within an hour of London.

For further information or to arrange an audition, please email Children’s Casting Director, Jessica Ronane at billy@jessicaronane.comstating your location and date of choice in the subject box.

Audition Tips

Dance AuditionThe time of year has begun again, when dance students all over the world are beginning to audition for dance schools, vocational colleges, conservatoires, institutes and universities. Even the most professional performers can feel nervous before important auditions or performances, but there are a few sure-fire ways to make sure that your tutu stops trembling and knees in those show tights stop shaking.

The first thing to ensure you are doing is breathing. This will calm your nerves as you take long and slow breaths, and will mean you are concentrating on something else rather than the task in hand! Make sure that you are standing correctly and have good posture by standing up straight and tall, whilst pulling your stomach muscles in towards your spine. Your weight should be distributed evenly over your feet will your toes relaxed and spread on the floor.

Relax your shoulders, as these begin to tense subconsciously when we feel anxious or nervous. Make sure you are pulling your shoulders blades down and are opening up your chest to project yourself, making sure that your ribs are pulled in to your body. You should feel as though you are pulling up all of your muscles and are neat and well-presented. You will appear more confident by having good poise, and able to carry off that brand new leotard to perfection!

Make sure you are fully warmed up by the time the audition starts as this will ensure you will not have any body-related worries to contend with, meaning you can fully focus on the person taking the audition and what they require from you. Make sure your muscles are warm and supple and keep breathing, as this will maintain the oxygen travelling around your body in your blood, and feed it into your brain too. It is easy to be distracted by other dancers in the room, but it is important to concentrate on yourself and show yourself off to your best ability, rather than worrying about making mistakes.

Good luck!