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If dance callbacks just aren't your thing...

It is so easy to get in your head at auditions and callbacks. This is what's gone through my head at dance callbacks.

Why does it seem like everyone here has taken dance lessons for years?

Wait, what was that step? Focus, Hayley! Maybe the choreographer will go over it again. Gosh, I hope he goes over that step again.

Please don't pick me to be in the first group. Please don't pick me to be in the first group. Please don't pick me to be in the first group.

Okay, my group is next. Breathe. Breathe. Smile. You can do this!

Was that the right foot? I think I should've kicked with the left...Whatever, the song's ending. Final pose! Ta-da!

I'm a better dancer than that. Should I ask to go again? Maybe I would have done a better job if I had the opportunity for a re-do...

The "voices in your head" will over-analyze everything you do in the audition room. It's only natural to second (or third) guess your audition song and wish you had a time machine every time you give a bad audition. It doesn't matter how many years you've been performing or how many auditions you've been on. Self talk will always be part of auditioning - the only thing that changes is your control over your focus.

You can't eliminate the thoughts in your head, but you can focus your thoughts. Wouldn't it be better if your mind went through the dance steps instead of telling you you'll never be able to kick your leg as high as the girl next to you?

Developing your mental muscle is critical to building the ability to learn choreography quickly in a callback. And memory is a huge component of dance. Center Stage Productions is offering past and present cast members unlimited dance classes in October for $30. (Offer does not apply to classes you are already enrolled in. Expires 10/31/2016.) Who knows? Maybe you can kick your leg as high as that girl?

Instead of letting your mind work overtime worrying about the next dance callback and remembering how bad your last one went, focus that anxiety and take a dance class. Performers need to be able to sing, dance, and act. In musical theatre jargon, a triple threat means you can do it all. Not every performer is equally skilled at every aspect of showmanship, nor do they have to be. But it helps.

Taking a variety of dance classes - jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop - is best. Once the basics are nailed down, versatility is what makes a performer stand out. But if you only have time for one class (maybe two), how do you choose?

1. Go to a class that's different from what you know. If you've had some jazz training, go to a hip hop or tap class. You will be working on a different set of mental muscles.

2. Focus on the dances appropriate to the shows you see yourself auditioning for. For example, tap is a huge asset when you're going out for 42nd Street.

3. If you can only pursue ONE type of dance, choose ballet. Yes, even if you're a guy. Ballet is the foundation of all Broadway dance. It is absolutely necessary for working in musical theatre because choreography is given using French terms from ballet. Auditions go by so quickly, you need to know the lingo that the choreographer is spitting out.

See what adding dance to your practice can do for your next audition. Center Stage Productions is offering unlimited dance classes in October to current and past cast members for $30. (Offer does not apply to classes you are already enrolled in. Expires 10/31/2016.)

Text October30 to (760) 807-8654 to claim your $30 unlimited dance class pass.

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