The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011

The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011

The thoughts of Jordan Mills, part of the England Team as he prepares, rehearses and performs…Part 2 (Read Part 1)


It’s all by email now…they find out about you, ask you lots of questions- performance experience, exam results, ambitions and eventually you get an invite to an open audition! This is what it’s really all about – performing, dancing, showing-off! Yet you’re still nervous and apprehensive…’give it a go, see what happens, it’ll be good experience. So I was off to London, The Dance Attic, a famous rehearsal studios used by Madonna, Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue and now me!

Back in March, after an anxious drive to London (getting slightly lost of course), I turned up at an open workshop audition for the Tap Attack Youth Squad. Full of apprehension, surrounded by other nervous faces dreading what could happen in the 20 minutes that I have in front of, Guinness World-record holder and Squad founder director Jo Scanlan and Jim Doubtfire, Tap Dogs’ Dance Captain and Squad artistic director.

We’re led into the studio – an odd space with an unnervingly smooth wooden floor, not quite what I need as my heart rate soars. We started with some drills led by Jo: shuffle pick up changes, cramp roll turns, paddle sequences…


It felt as if all of my technique had been left outside in the waiting area, whilst I nervously struggled to execute the cramp roll turns with any confidence and skill in the studio under – what felt like – severe scrutiny. Then we moved straight onto a short routine choreographed by Jim, which allowed me to regain my focus and composure: learn the routine, perform the routine, don’t mess up the routine!

After performing the set routine individually, I felt that I’d done well, and now couldn’t wait for the one part of the audition that I had control over – our own pre-prepared solo. Something I’d choreographed and performed many times, to a great old piece of jazz – Unsquare Dance (Dave Brubeck).

MAYBE . . .

After watching two routines from other auditionees, the pressure built again. My turn. Two minutes to show Jo and James what I can really do. I started cautiously, as I knew the floor was mercilessly slippery for tap dancing, but gained confidence until I finished with my crossed double pick-up.

Once we’d all performed our solos, we waited patiently and silently whilst Jo and Jim discussed our auditions. After what felt like an age, several of us were called over, and given the news…

…After a brief thank you, we all left the studio. I faced the drive back, and a hundred questions from my Mum when I got home, and the amazing fact – I had been asked to the recall auditions in Reading in May…this was my chance, it was getting closer…just a whole day of intensive drills and routines all filmed and then another long wait…will I get a YES!?

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One thought on “The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011

  1. Pingback: The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011 (Part 3)

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