By Mia Lyndon (of auditionquest.co.uk)
As part of Oklahoma City University, the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment is one of the USA’s premier dance training providers. Offering a variety of performance opportunities alongside world-class training, The Ann Lacey School at Oklahoma City University is the perfect place to start your dancing career. Click here to find out more.
I had the pleasure of interviewing student Maddie about her experiences of auditioning at The Ann Lacy School.
1. What did the audition day involve?
- Check in
- Auditionee Photos and Measurements Taken
- 1 Hour-Long Warm-Up
- LUNCH (1 Hour)
- 30 Second Dance Solo
The audition day began with check in opening at 8:00 am. They give you lots of time to get ready and arrive before the audition begins. Once you check in, you will get your number to wear all day and your schedule for the day. They split the auditionees up into two studios to allow the dancers to have more space. Then you will get your picture taken and be measured.
Something really cool about OCU’s audition day is the American Spirit Dance Company does a little show for the students auditioning. They perform dances from their upcoming show.
Then, the dancers split up into their respective studios to begin dancing. The faculty gives the dancers an hour warm-up class before they start the audition combination or ballet class. Depending on the studio you are in, you will either start with ballet or jazz.
After the first style, you have an hour break for lunch. After lunch, you will take tap or ballet for an hour and after that, you will take jazz or tap. Because dancers are split into two studios, there are two different schedules.
Once all of the audition classes are over, dancer will perform a 30 second solo for adjudication by entire faculty and staff. Once you have finished your solo, you are done for the day!
2. What was the vibe like- did you feel welcomed?
The vibe was incredibly welcoming. I felt comfortable and excited when I walked into the building. They have students greeting you and helping you throughout the day.
When you walk into the studio to begin the audition, the faculty members stress how it’s just like a class and it’s supposed to be fun. If there is time at the end of the audition they will sit down the auditionees and chat with them to help them feel more comfortable.
3. How difficult were the audition classes?
The audition classes were not incredibly difficult because of the different levels in the room. The faculty would give students the bare bones of the combination and leave it up to the dancer to add their style and movement to it. One thing that is really important to note is if they say a double pirouette, do a double pirouette, but if they give you an option, do what you feel comfortable with.
The faculty will give options in the combinations because there are so many different skills levels in the room. There are people that have been dancing their entire life and there are beginners, it completely depends on the group of dancers!
4. How many people did you audition with?
I believe I auditioned with 25 people in my room and I think there were about 50-60 of us all together. OCU has three auditions throughout the year and they accept video submissions. They did not tell us how many people they accept because it changes year to year, depending on how large the graduating senior class is.
5. What would you say is the best thing to wear?
Once you register for the audition, they will tell you what to wear! They want to see you in a bright colored leotard with tan tights, and a low bun. The low bun is very important because you will be measured at the beginning of the day. If you like, wear makeup that shows your expressions and highlights your attributes. Also, a little stud earring and red lip never hurts anybody!
6. Were you given any other information about funding, housing, information for parents or building tours?
Yes! OCU has a day called “Dance with the Stars Audition Information Day” and that takes place the Friday before the audition. This day consists of watching classes, Q&A sessions with current students, the deans and admission staff, and tours of the building and the campus. At one point, there is a parent only Q&A session with the deans of the Ann Lacy School, while the students watch ballet classes.
7. Is there anything that you need to take along or prepare?
There will be an optional singing audition on Friday after all of the activities, so I definitely recommend bringing your singing book and singing your heart out! Also, I recommend bringing lip stick, a change of tights in case something happens to yours, and SOCKS in case your tap shoes give you blisters. It can be weird wearing your tap shoes with only tights on so be prepared with some socks!
8. What would you say are your tips for people that haven’t auditioned there before?
I would say go into the audition with a positive attitude and HAVE FUN. It sounds cliché, but the more fun you have in the room, the better you will perform. It is such a fun audition, sometimes I forgot I was even auditioning! Perform and let the faculty see your personality. At OCU, the faculty reminds the auditionees that this is a SCHOOL. It’s a place to learn, not to be perfect right away. Do your best and have fun.
Also, another little thing is OCU gets back to you really quickly with their response. Dancers will find out 2-3 weeks after their audition. Personally, I got my letter exactly one week after!
A massive thank you goes to Maddie for her excellent answers in contribution to this blog. Audition Quest wishes her the absolute best in her future studies.
Check out Maddie’s website, by clicking here