Friday, February 24, 2012

Hold On.

So for about three months now, I have ben counting down the days until the auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Season 9. I hadn't really planned on auditioning until after I graduated, but I figured if the opportunity presented itself, I should take it. So I did. 
So just one week before the audition, I finally talked my friend, Matika, into auditioning with me (scooorrrreeeee)! So we made a plan to have a sleep over the night before and head up to Salt Lake early the next morning; and that's just what we did. 
We got up at 5:20 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2012 (except we didn't get out of bed until 5:30). We took about 45 minutes to get ourselves dolled up with make up, sweet hair-do's and whatnot. We grabbed some toast and headed out the door! The anticipation was killing the both of us! Once we got into downtown Salt Lake, we stopped at Subway for our lunch, the zooooommmeeddd over to the Capitol Theatre! We drove by the line and were incredibly surprised by the lack of dancers. We got there around 7:30 and stood at the back of the line, thinking that we were going to be the dead last ones.. boy were we wrong. 
Not very long after that, we moved quickly around the corner and started getting some camera action! The camera guys ran by, telling us to cheer as the cameras came around, and just act like we were having a complete blast.. which we were!! I also got to be in a few other shots where I did aerials with four other girls, then a tumbling sequence by myself, and the infamous "welcome to Salt Lake City!!" scene. It was all quite a blast. Loooovveeeddd it. All while this filming was happening, Cat Deeley came out and interacted with the dancers. She was super close to my section of the line, but didn't quite make it. BUT I was able to snag a quick shot of her (and you aren't supposed to... ooops)!
(Cat's in the Red Coat!)
FINALLY, at like 9:30 (not 8:00 like the website says), the doors opened, and we got to go in and get registered and settled. We had to go through security, then get our numbers and turn in papers, then once you enter the actual theatre, an attendant asked "what will you be dancing today?" to which I responded "contemporary". The theatre was set up into three different sections: 1-Hip Hop, 2-Contemporary, 3-Jazz/Specialty. So I went to sit in the corresponding section, and waited for everyone to be seated. 
Once everyone was in and seated, the producer came on stage and spoke to us for a good 15 minutes or so, and then brought out our other two judges, Courtney Galiano and Robert Roldan. And of course, since we were in his home town, Tadd Gadduang also made an appearance. The three of them all talked to us and gave us tips and whatnot. Simon Fuller then explained to us the process of the audition, then it all began. 
So basically, this was the set up. Within their chosen genres, the dancers were split up into groups of ten, and they lined up on stage accordingly. The judges would then choose a song at random (fit for the genre, of course), and each dancer had between 30 seconds to a minute to give it everything--by improvising. At the end of number 10's solo, the dancers all lined up and were given their moments of truth. It was either: A-Golden Ticket (to go on to the portion that is actually what you see on television), B-Stick Around (you probably did well, but not your best; they want to see more), or C-Thank You, See You Next Season (pretty self-explanatory). The three genres took turns going on stage- hip hop, then contemporary, then jazz. My group didn't go until around 2:30. A girl counted us off and told us to go stand in the back of the auditorium, then move our way up to the side of the stage, and then finally to take our places on the stage. I was number 8, so I had a little bit of time to warm up to the music. However, my group got completely screwed over with the music choice. Every contemporary group before us had a really strong, intense and powerful song. Not us; we danced to "A New Day Has Come" by Celine Dion.. really..? It was whatever though. Right before my time, I said the names of all my family members in my head, then gave it my everything. Leaps, turns, allusions, tumbling, I even looked all the judges dead in the eyes--something not everyone did. My forty seconds were up, and I was content with what I had done. Granted, it wasn't my best, but I did pretty well. We all lined up to hear our results and hopefully get our tickets. To our surprise, the judges were disappointed in all of us. He told us all to stay and give it another shot. I was in shock because I had pulled from the pain I was feeling with missing my family, and even from the pain I remembered feeling during a break-up. I looked the judges straight in the face I showed them who I was. Total stake through the heart. I took it as a second chance to do even BETTER. So I sat back down, ate my Subway and some candy, got amped up and got in the zone. I plugged in my ipod and prayed that they would pick a better song this time. I got up to throw away my trash and to go to the bathroom (by the way, pee count for today: 10 times!). I was the only one in the bathroom, so being the goof I am, I danced around the bathroom and just got a little loosened up. On my way back in, guess who I met? Amber Williams from last season! She made it to Vegas, but only stayed for a few days. I told her how brilliant and amazing and just plain adorable she was. She introduced herself and asked about me, and I told her. Gahh. Love her. 
So eventually it was time to give it another go. This time though, there was no line up, you danced and they either said "come get your ticket" or "thank you very much; Next" and went straight to the next person. This time, I was number 3. I went out there and once again gave it everything. But to my disappointment, I didn;t receive a ticket. Honestly, it hurt me a lot to hear that. I mean, here I was, dancing in front of two incredible dancers, who I strongly love and admire, and either one or both of them had given me a "no" both times (out of the three judges, you have to get either two or three yeses to get the ticket). I blew it off and went home. 
After a while of thinking, though, I was glad I didn't make it. I mean hey, I'm only 18, it's my first year at college, away from my family... I've got so much more to live for! Heck, even before I auditioned, I told my mom that I wouldn't care too much if I didn't make it. Everything happens for a reason! All in all, I had a complete BLAST! I am so glad I went because I now know the process, and can really BRING IT next year! 
So as I was preparing, months before the audition, I searched the internet a million times to find out how it really went, so here is me, giving that to somebody else! Some pointers for future dancers: 

  • You DO NOT have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get in line. I arrived just thirty minutes til they were supposed to open the door, and I was in the middle of the line by the time the doors did open. However, if you want to be a part of the camera action, get there around 7ish.
  • When you get in the auditorium, sit in all the seats that have been left empty up front! They eventually tell you to squish together, and trust me, you WANT to be one of the first to perform. Towards the end  of the groups, I think they just got bored of seeing the same thing over and over, so you really don't want to risk being one of the clones. 
  • Bring food with you! I don't suggest leaving the building at all. It's better to stay and watch just in case the judges throw out some advice. 
  • Wear your hair down! The judges seemed to pick a lot more girls who wore theirs down. I think it gave the performance more flair and character with hair flying all over the place. 
  • Go with what you KNOW is your strong place. I regret choosing contemporary as my genre. So many times, I remember thinking that I should move over to jazz, but I never did. Had I gone with my instincts, I could be performing my kick butt solo in front of Nigel and Mary. 
  • SMILE. There is nothing the judges love more than confidence. Plain as that. 
  • Have fun! This was a great experience, and I would do it tomorrow and the next day and forever. Participate in all the camera stuff, and dance parties, and even the silly sing alongs that go on in the auditorium. You definitely won't regret that. 
  • Parents, friends, and all others who ARE NOT auditioning are not allowed in the building at all, so make sure they're prepared to wait for you for 12 hours. 
  • If you have an urge to do something, DO IT. I kept telling Matika that I wanted to get my picture taken with Amber, but I never did. And now I wish I had. I did get to meet her, but I would have loved to have something to remember the moment by. Same with me moving over to jazz. I could be on a different path right now! Make sure you have no regrets!
  • DANCE YOUR ACE OFF! Don't hold back anything! Yeah the music might not fit what you do, but you have to make it. Do all your best tricks and everything. You've got nothing to lose.