Before I even had time to think it was the day; the day that I had been dreading and anticipating for weeks and weeks – the recall audition workshop.
It felt like a long drive up to Reading and the nerves were building.
When we arrived I was nervously searching for someone I recognized from the audition – no-one. But there were lots of others there and then I realised that this was not just for new auditionees. This is the point at which they re-audition existing members of Tap Attack, – even MORE nerve-racking…as I was being judged not only by Jo and Jim, but by ALL of the existing squad members!
So it began with a warm up: we’d started: from now until the second I left this hall, I was being watched. Time to relax and focus and think how do I do a cramp roll?!!?
Then there were lots of corner drills: shuffle pick-up changes, cramp roll turns: which went a lot better than my last audition, so I felt more confident. But more nervous, they were solo – EVERYONE watching your every step.
Jim choreographed a routine which we all learnt. Completely different to what I’ve learned at my dancing school – very intricate, I really had to focus.
THEN, split into smaller groups, we were taken by existing members of TAYC to devise more of a routine. The guys were put together, went outside, more relaxed as we started chatting, and I started to feel part of the team – even though I hadn’t been given a place yet! We then learnt an extra part with some canon which I got surprisingly quickly.
After lunch we were back in the hall surrounded by everyone else, including Jim, Jo and Dean Magri – another member of the teaching faculty at Tap Attack.
Once we had shown the learned routine, I heard the dreaded word, the one word that I did not want to hear: improvisation. Granted, it was only 8 counts but it was improvisation, filmed improvisation! Round the circle, the camera got nearer and nearer, I had something planned in my head but whether it would get from there to my feet was questionable. Before I could change it, it was my turn. Done. It’s never as bad as you think…
Once the day was over we were told we’d be contacted by email with the news… yes or no? The long wait…YES! I had been offered a place!
My 1st Training Session
When I arrived, I recognised a lot more people and went straight into the vast studio. I saw a few people that were being auditioned, one of which was a guy from Performer’s College who I hadn’t seen since 2009.
We did a brief warm up – and it was nice to start to feel part of the team. We were then thrown in at the deep end and had to learn the squad’s Got To Dance routine
Overall, an awesome session, I loved the pace and intensity, more of this to come.
The thing that I needed to adjust to the most was the travelling. Every Sunday was a 2 hour car journey to training and back, but never feels that long. One session that’s stuck in my head is one at the Dance Attic – where the first audition was held. We were using different rooms, doing different routines, under different conditions – they were considering who to enter for the World Tap Championships in which categories. More pressure than previous ones, although the viewed us overall, I felt that I had to impress Jo and Jim of all training sessions. I’d done my best, then after training it was off to get fitted for my new Capezio K360 tap shoes.
In the next week, I got the email: I had been offered a solo. This meant that I had a lot more stuff to think about before the World Champs, a lot more training and a lot more travelling!
My first solo training sessions were a 6 hour train journey away in Liverpool with Jim over three days. I arrived on the Sunday, and training began Monday morning…
It was odd at first, working on a solo, as up until now I had only worked with everyone in groups, but this gave me a chance to really highlight my strengths in a routine. But there was one thing that we had to find before we started choreographing – music. Flicking through every genre – we stumbled upon Michael Bublé, my Mum’s favourite. Done.
At the end of the three days, I had half of a routine that I’d be performing in front of an international audience in 3 months, sore feet and another 6 hour train journey home…
… After then, my next solo session: 20th August. At this point we’d set a lot of the dance and it sounded great – now I just needed it to look great. I’d been focusing so much on the steps, I’d completely neglected everything above the waist. This training for my solo had been great as it set me up for the week of craziness ahead, the Tap Attack Residential…
But more of that next time…from Swindon to Riesa, Germany
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