MSA Dance Day – Tips and Toes
“A good audition is much more than having confidence” states Joey Dowling, a choreographer showcased at McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA) Dance day in New York. “You have to convince yourself that you are the best, that you are perfect for the job” added Dowling on her way to teach class at Pearl Studios where the event took place.
MSA represents a wide range of professionals within the entertainment industry, from stage directors and choreographers to performers and, particularly, dancers. They act as a talent agency worldwide where it’s needed, either for stage performances, to perform for a movie, a TV show, or even a music video. A lot of these gigs are actually booked during conventions or showcases like Dance Day at Pearl Studios. These kinds of events allow the skills and abilities of today’s talents to be seen.
While Dance Day offered over 150 dancers six hours of tips and advice, they also got audition opportunities, contact with agencies and, finally, get a chance to be noticed. The dancers were showered with audition tips and eye-opening routines. On the teachers’ roster some names stood out: Joey Dowling (Mariah Carey Tour, Chicago the Movie, In the Heights), Cherice Barton (Cirque du Soleil, Azure Barton, Mia Michaels), Jimmy Locust (Michael Jackson, Reebok, The 1996 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony), Rhonda Miller (Days of our Lives, Broadway Bares) and Maria Torres (Dance With Me, So You Think You Can Dance, Swing), just to name a few!
Torres who taught a Latin Jazz workshop advised the dancers to look at themselves in the mirror everyday: “It helps build their confidence, one quality every dancer should have to succeed,” Torres says. While teaching a fast-paced Jazz workshop Joey Dowling advised the dancers by giving personal anecdotes and her experience in the audition process. Just picture the scene: a five-foot eleven Caucasian woman impersonating a five-foot Latino male for an audition call. Priceless, and she got the job. An also notable guest at the event was Cherice Barton, who had the dancers asking for more, after her one hour Contemporary Jazz class.
Movmnt had the opportunity to speak with the dancers, professionals in the industry, and representatives from MSA. From all the advice given, everyone agreed on one thing; you have to give your best all the time, physically, technically, and mentally.