The thoughts of Jordan Mills, part of the England Team as he prepares, rehearses and performs…Part 2 (Read Part 1)
STARS IN THE ATTIC
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…
TECHNIQUE DESERTS ME
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.
…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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