Dance Team Tryout Tips


Junior choreographer, Tatiana Iskandarian goes over the choreography with the first select group.

Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

Look The Part: It is important to wear comfortable clothes that you will be confident in when you’re performing. That way you only focus on the choreography instead of if your shirt is too tight. Stick to shirts of solid color because graphic tees can sometimes be distracting with the messages that they convey. Lastly and most significantly: the shoes! Try to pick shoes that you’ve worn to dance class already but still look presentable. Exercise shoes or running shoes are preferable since they have built in arches that offer extra suport.

Attend The Clinics: It doesn’t matter if you’ve never danced before or if you’re a pro in a dance company; if your dance team offers clinics, which are classes before the date of the actual tryout: GO! Not only will you learn the dances ahead of time, but you will also get to know people with the same interest as you. As a matter of fact, you will have more time to practice the steps repeatedly, because as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Be A Smart Dancer: Granted, there is a certain number of spots on the team. So there is bound to be people at the clinics doing extreme turns or fancy flips, but don’t get carried away. Conserve your energy throughout the class. Continue to put in considerable effort when learning the dance because the coach is always watching. However, know when to simply “mark” the choreography which is reviewing the dance rather than performing it. It’s more important to get the timing of the steps and musicality right than it is to go “full out” the first time. Only go “full out” when they split people into groups, and if you aren’t feeling well don’t push yourself because that’s when injuries can happen.

Freestyle & Facials: It’s all about the attitude you handle yourself with. Don’t treat freestyle as if it were a daunting dare but rather take on the challenge and just do it. Overthinking it will only create more stress. Don’t strain your memory remembering pre-made steps. Just listen to the music and go with whatever step is natural to you. Incorporate facials! Perform not just with your feet but think about the essence of the dance,(is it emotional/intimidating/feminine?) and channel your facial features to express the mood. Trust me, it makes the choreography ten times more interesting to watch!

Fall Once and Try, Try, Again! In the classes, you may not understand the choreography right away or you may forget a step. But remember that it’s a learning experience for everyone too! So don’t be afraid to participate in groups. After all, how are you going to improve if you don’t push yourself to dance outside your comfort zone? Also, keep in mind the team performs for pep rallies where the audience is much larger, and what better time to start gaining on-stage performance experience then right away!

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