Behind the Scenes at Ensemble Auditions for the New York Spectacular
While we Rockettes are thrilled to be back in the rehearsal studio learning new choreography and getting ready for the New York Spectacular, many talented dancers made their way to Radio City Music Hall on Monday, March 14 to audition for a spot in the ensemble.
“Mia Michaels pulls something out of you—she walks into the room and it’s a combination of nerves, excitement and a little bit of anxiety and she is just someone you always want to impress,” says Missouri native Nicholas P. “It’s always really exciting to be in a room with her, she’s always rooting for you and just wants you to do the best you can.”
Having to put nerves aside, auditions started with a group of talented male dancers. Mia’s assistant choreographers taught a high-energy and athletic jazz combination, followed by another detailed, hard-hitting jazz routine which was full of precise “Vogue”-style movements.
“The hardest thing today was how quickly they taught the combinations,” says Nicholas. “Learning the ‘Vogue’ combination in 20 minutes was really scary and nerve-racking, more so than the moves themselves.”
As for the female ensemble auditions, the women learned an India-inspired combination with sharp and powerful movements, and were then taught an athletic jazz combination—similar to what the male ensemble hopefuls mastered—where they were asked to leap, run and use the space around them like “hungry Wall Street women.”
“If there is one thing that Mia doesn’t like it’s something being ‘typical,’ says Julius R., Assistant Choreographer to Mia Michaels. “Mia is looking for dancers that have a spirit, bite and most importantly a fire. Yes the steps are important, and yes you’ll eventually nail them, but her pieces are not about the steps. It’s about what you feel and what these dancers make you feel.”
“Today, we were just trying to find people who could inspire her. If you inspire her, then she knows how to fuel you.”