I had glorious plans to go down early and see who I could talk to and meet at the Vancouver auditions.
Those glorious plans, however, failed. After moving December 1st, [and now a week later still living out of boxes] I just didn’t have the time or motivation to go down that early in the cold…
though I did harass Blake McGrath on twitter and follow the judges tweets to live vicariously through them while they were in my city. I don’t know if I could have been entirely nice to Leah Miller – I just want to tell her how I loathe her…
I really hope to see some Vancouverites make it onto the show… it’s always nice to have some locals to root for…
I think this may be Menina Fortunato’s (who I went to highschool with) sister Sante who auditioned last year (and I think should have made it – maybe this year?)
How many hopefuls recieved a boarding pass? Can’t wait to see the show!
And who will survive Blake Bootcamp?
CTV’s Lindsay Zier-Vogel wrote this:
Aerials out of pirouettes, countless turns, a stage full of flips, explosive jumps and crazy isolations — the solos are full of wild tricks this season and Vancouver hopefuls have brought their A-game, pulling out the most dynamic moves they have.
“It’s Season 3 so we’re really looking for something new and fresh,” judge and audition choreographer Blake McGrath says.
So how are the dancers preparing themselves for such mind-blowing moves?
“I’m a Pilates instructor, so I’m always working on my core,” Vancouver dancer Rachel Wainwright, 29, says. She’s most excited about the turns in her solo — a string of chainé turns, into a pirouette, followed by an attitude turn.
“You really have to focus on pulling up and staying centred and grounded,” she explains.
And having a strong core isn’t just for the more contemporary side of dance. Judge Luther Brown insists b-boys need tons of core strength for his favourite move, head spins.
“I think stalls are overplayed, but I always get mesmerized when someone does crazy headspins!” he says.
Spinning on your head sounds crazy to many of us, but Luther breaks it down: “It’s all about the balance and you’ve got to be able to control your body.
“Your core has to be on fire — it’ll take a whole bunch of sit ups,” he insists.
Vancouver hip-hopper Alvin Arfieza, 20, is most proud of the isolations in his solo. “It looks like I’m taking an object and passing it through my body,” he explains, and demonstrates this popping movement.
Arfieza insists it takes hours and hours of concentrated practice to be able to move each muscle separately. “I work in front of a mirror first, and then without the mirror so I know what it feels like,” he explains.
He’s included a lot of isolations in his solo because he likes the rhythmic quality of the movement along with the control it takes to move so specifically.
“It’s like telling a story with your body,” he explains, hoping the judges will appreciate the entertainment value of his moves.
Jean Marc’s reverse rolls
Judge Jean Marc Genereux says the hardest move he ever did when he was competing as a ballroom dancer was reverse rolls in a samba, a movement that has the dancers traveling and covering the stage, while rotating the upper body in large, complete circles.
“The samba is crazy fast so it takes connectivity with your partner. You need to be exactly in synch,” he says, adding humbly that he and his partner and wife, France Mousseau were known for their reverse rolls.
“You have to make sure your frame is amazingly strong and that you’re holding each others’ backs,” he explains. “That frame has to be operational because if it’s not, it’ll be a catastrophe. It’s a lot about dynamics.”
Letting go of the fear factor
Contemporary dancer Moses Layco, 24, admits he doesn’t have any fear when it comes to dancing. He’s a self-taught tumbler and loves filling his solos with as many acrobatic tricks as he can.
“I tend to flip a lot when I panic,” he laughs. To keep himself in tumbling shape, he drives out to North Vancouver to the gymnastics gym.
He can’t wait to show the judging panel his most fabulous trick: “I do a pirouette, at least three turns, but hopefully four, and then I extend my leg and go right into the aerial (hands-free cartwheel).”
Calgary’s Louise Hradsky, 23, says she too is fearless on stage. “I’m an aerial circus artist, so I don’t mind being up high and falling really quickly. I love stunts!”
So what’s the most challenging trick in her solo? “I do a double turn into a jump, but instead of landing the jump on my feet, I land all the way on the ground. It adds a little bit of drama,” she says.
But how do you fall and not hurt yourself? “I think there’s always a risk of hurting yourself,” Hradsky says, admitting that she is currently sporting a huge bruise on her left elbow.
“But if you have good body awareness and a strong centre, then you have control of your limbs and you can be exactly where you need to be.”
She believes the best training for dancing is dancing — especially ballet class. “But I also do a lot of non-dancing to keep myself in shape.”
She heads to the gym often and runs a 10 kilometre route along the sea wall five days a week. “I’ve done a couple of half-marathons too,” she says. “I find the cardio and endurance always helps — I don’t ever get tired on stage!”