The job of picking our cast by way of online auditions does not come without it’s challenges and risks! Over the past four months Paula and I, along with our professional casting panel, have been wading our way through hundreds of application forms, dance resumes and youtube video clips that have come in from around the world. It has been absolutely amazing to see the talent that is out there in young dancers from around the world and incredible to think about what these dancers can achieve and what is in store for future dance production and entertainment shows. We have received every type of video imaginable from professionally produced film with dancers in studio, complete with costume changes and slow motion effects, to people dancing around their back gardens or in their kitchens at home with the help of a friend videoing with their iPhone! Occasionally we have had to write back to the applicants to ask them to send a higher quality video but generally we will take any sort of video as long as it shows off the dancer, their strengths and style as best as possible to help us in our decision. One thing that will never do any dancer any favors is a badly formulated or messy dance resume, sloppy half-hearted audition video and general lack of care in the application, as directors we need to see from the get go that a dancer is as serious as we are about the show and willing to work professionally to ensure the standard of the show is kept at it’s highest.
Many people have asked what we look for in a dancer who wants to make it into the cast. While competitive success is obviously a good indication of a dancers ability it is not the most important thing that we are looking for and there are many different factors that come into the decision making process. Sure, a dancer who has had competitive success is going to be able to dance but they also need to meet certain requirements that will be a good fit with our show and more importantly the intense and short rehearsal time of just 10 days to put the whole show together. We need to see a natural ability in the dancers audition video, that the dancer is able for advanced dance moves in both soft shoe and heavy shoe. We should to be able to read from their application forms that they are as passionate and dedicated to the show as we are and that they are willing to do whatever it takes during the rehearsal period to ensure that the show is ready and in it’s best shape by opening night. We are looking for dancers who move well with style and are not only technically good dancers but also good performers. The dancer needs to have a communicative style demonstrating movements which can draw the attention of the audience and captivate the viewers. There are also logistical aspects such as costuming, height matching, male to female ratios etc., which, when weighed in with everything else, helps us make our decision. All in all, whether you are a World Champion or non-competitive dancer it comes down to ticking all the boxes that we think will ensure a top quality cast who can work well together and create a spectacular show.
We decided from the get go that we wanted to have a large cast of Irish dancers in the show but we needed to limit the amount of dancers to a number which was manageable for the short amount of rehearsal time, choreography’s and also logistically for touring. The amount we decided on was 60 and so we sent out the call, via the internet, for dancers to submit their applications. Unfortunately the hard part is always declining dancers and this sadly is unavoidable but at the same time we always encourage dancers who have not made it this time to keep pursuing their dreams and apply again for future productions. Of course we get great satisfaction in telling dancers that they have been successful and it really makes it all worthwhile when you receive emails and messages of gratitude that a dance has been accepted.
We are now just days away from the closing date for applications and while the majority of the cast has been finalized we are still sifting through the final bundles of applications that are coming in and about to make decisions for our final remaining places. We are amazed by the standard of our cast so far and cannot wait to meet everyone but we also want to make sure that the final few remaining places are given to dancers to truly “tick all the boxes” and will make Take The Floor 2013 the best it can be.
If you are still thinking about it, stop, pick up your phone, put on your shoes and get your audition video into us and APPLY NOW!
Co-producer/director of Take The Floor