Week 13: Winterdances auditions on Wednesday, 4/25


This week on Wednesday at 9:00 am, our class will be auditioning for next year’s Winterdances.

Rather than doing partnering/contact, I think we will Monday’s class to prepare for Wednesday’s audition. How will you practice taking on new material and make it your own? How will you prepare to be open and ready for whatever is thrown at you? Take this time to explore habits and letting go of what is unnecessary. Encourage yourself to take risks…Stand in the front of class instead of your usual place. Ask questions. Be curious and alert. Watch and Listen… Let’s go!



11 thoughts on “Week 13: Winterdances auditions on Wednesday, 4/25

  1. A reoccurring theme that Gerald keeps bringing up in class is how do we learn new material and how do we practice it. Today in class I tried to imply these ideas to the various exercises. When learning new material on the floor I try to find patterns to the movement and I try to pay close attention to when there is head and tail connection. I find that finding the transitions on floor work is difficult for me. I especially noticed that today when going from the crossed plank position to rolling on our backs and making a cross lateral connection with our elbow and knee. Sometimes I feel like it is the simplest transition spots that I have difficulty with because I am more focused on the challenging step coming next. A goal that I am setting for myself is to find that medium where I am able to use my transitions to enhance my dancing and prepare for that challenging step.

  2. One main idea that Gerald encourages us to focus on is how do we practice and take class. I think today’s class was very important in preparing for the Winterdances audition that takes place this coming Wednesday. For me, class went very well. I felt focused and engaged, and made sure to stand more towards the front of the class. One aspect that I need to work on is how to make the combinations my own and stand out as an individual, especially with auditions coming up. One combination in particular was the fondu exercise. I want to be able to take the risk and really fall over my leg and go for it. I want to have control but not look stiff, I feel that is my biggest challenge and something I need to continue to work on.

  3. In Modern today, we had started class off how we usually do, on the floor in an x. While I was laying in my x I had noticed my breathing a lot. How much I breath, or if i’m even breathing at all. My body as a whole began to sink down into the floor and everything released. I love starting class on the floor, or with floor combinations, I take to them very well and for me, I learn a lot about contracting and releasing certain parts of my body, The floor combination today was exciting. Some parts we had learned were new, others were old, one thing that the class and I had struggled with, and I can speak for the class on this one, was the roll back at the end of the combination. I felt that because it was such a new idea, one we had never done before we were confused. Through many attempts I had succeeded the roll. It was difficult because when rolling back we had to use the opposite arm we roll over to push us off to go back. At first I struggled with the momentum, i was lifting from my chest and neck, which strained me. I learned quickly which points of my body to push from to get myself over. The tendu combination was the other one that really drew my attention. I enjoyed falling off center when kicking my leg under the other one in second position lunging. I had to apply the concept of my head reaching away from my body and reaching it as far as I could. Another aspect I had to focus on, when lunging, having a flat back, not a curved spin. I thought that with everything I wouldve been overwhelmed with details but everything turned out nice. I felt that today was a very successful class for me, in terms of applying concepts, and taking in information.

  4. In Monday’s class I took a new chance by putting myself in the middle and front while running the combinations. Usually I stick to the back and sides of the room, I find that when I am in the front it is easier for me to focus on my practice. I don’t have the distractions of others in front of me. Also it’s easier because I get a clear view of the combinations being taught. Since Gerald brought up the idea of really focusing on how we take class I have made a conscious effort to change my bad habits. Talking and going on auto pilot, I find that when I really take class and stay in tune throughout I get through the combinations with more ease. (that’s really a given right?)
    Now the difficulties have to do with sticking out and finding what make me unique. This is a new level of practice that I need to find, and going all out and giving into the combination. My problem is that I’m scared of doing something wrong. I think that if I let that fear go then I will be more successful.
    I have really enjoyed Gerald having us focus on how we practice, I believe it has opened a new realm within myself, insight to how I learn. What works and what doesn’t.

    • Frequently, I have much on my mind before class starts. I always knew this affected my performance within class. Nevertheless, I came to a conclusion that this is not going to happen anymore; I promised myself that I would clear my mind in order to do better in class. Once I did this, my performance in class changed drastically. I no longer stood in the back of class, and I started to ask more questions. I still do not ask too many questions, but I at least speak up for minor clarification; I believe that too many questions being asked deducts from learning. I also believe that it is a way to manipulate Gerald into spoon-feeding information. I am a grown individual – I do not need to be spoon-fed. I also started to stand in front for class, which makes learning more productive. Since I am a visual learner, this has benefited me tremendously. Desptie my ups and downs, this style of learning is much better than what I have been doing in the past. This style of learning shall be more consistent.

  5. In class on Wednesday, auditions were being held for both Winterdances, and Chicago. Walking in and taking a number I was taken a back. I had all different emotions building up inside, anxiety, fear, happiness. This was the first time in awhile I had auditioned for anything, and my first semester being in the program so I had no idea what the department wanted out of us, or what each choreographer (Luc and Elizabeth) wanted to see from us. Auditions started off with Chicago, Darci had taught us a small simple combination just to see how our bodies would react to the choreography, and for her, to see how we could spice up our moves. Jazz has always been such a fun style of dance to study for me personally. As we all started getting the feel for certain moves Darci had sped up the music, and when I say sped up, I mean the really sped the music up. It was a bit of chaos at first but the Chicago combination was sassy yet fun, a great way to wake us up and start the day. After learning Chicago, Elizabeth had stepped in and taught her combination. We were all learning it in one huge group, then she split us off into two groups, then from there we had groups of 10 we preformed the combination in. I think that was the scariest part. Preforming in those small groups, I was confident but still nervous. Elizabeths combination, along with Luc’s was by far my two favorite. They were completely different pieces Luc’s being contemporary ballet with a twist of modern and Elizabeths being a bit of improv and modern. It was amazing to experience their choreography and what music they chose. The third and final part of the auditions was learning a small piece by Peter. Peter’s piece was very dramatic at first walking a few steps forward then sharply throwing each arm down one by one on our sides. towards the end we were what he called ‘swimming’ for our ending part at a slow tempo, very slow. It was very different from Luc, Elizabeths and Darci’s piece, the musicality, the choreography, even the way he taught was all very different. I learned that through this audition I adapt to peoples teaching in different ways. For instance I noticed how that when Elizabeth teaches, i tend to focus more on what she does because she is so outspoken and loud about her choreography. Her loudness keeps my attention. Its funny to realize how I learn, and how i react and adapt to certain teachers teaching. Overall I thought auditions went very well, it was exciting and new and I cant wait for the next auditions!

    • Wasn’t it fun?! I was so nervous, too. I’ve never taken Jazz but I want to SO BADLY! For me, I really react to choreography where I can be sassy dramatic, and jazz seems to be very full of life! Petr’s piece was amazing! My boyfriend was actually getting a little jealous listening to me talk about him because I fell inlove with the way he moves. I’ve never seen a professional ballet dancer really move up close before (besides Melissa in Ballet I) so I felt sort of star-struck! They say dancing is what is done between the shapes and I REALLY saw how fluid and free Petr was inbetween each shape he made, which caused his dancing to look so intoxicating!

  6. I think auditions were interesting. I think we all can assume that when we are out auditioning in the professional dance world the auditions will be much tougher and harder on us as a dancer. We will be nixed before we get to take our first 2-step. It was good to get experience by having to learn a combination in a short time and perform it right away, giving us the chance to be an individual in class.

    • I had the same exact thought! I feel like so much through this semester in particular I’ve learned to be intune with my body and emotions. I had such fun with Darci’s phrase, couldn’t stop smiling during Elizabeth’s— then during Luc’s I felt myself completely shut down. I was standing there thinking, “Oh my gosh, I have no idea how to do this!” I imagine most dancers are competitive, like I am, so no one wants to feel like they’re horrible! This also made me focus on how I learn material. I always just “went with it” and learned as best as I could, until Gerald brought it to my attention that there are different ways we can learn. Since then, I’ve actually had a much easier time picking up combinations because I’m thinking more in terms of stage directions, such as “the second turn is en dedans” instead of “on the right, turn to the left.”

  7. For me, auditions are always a nerve wrecking experience. I am always so competitive, but when I see myself struggling, I very often tend to hide in the back or a corner. I have noticed though, when I get get the choreography, I want to stand out and be front and center and get noticed. I really enjoyed Darci’s pice and could not hold myself back from enjoying Elizabeths, but then we got to Luc’s piece and I was shaken up and it made me take a couple steps back and made me come to the realization that I do need to focus harder on technique to really make a career in this field. I like that the UWM Dance Department has us attend these auditions, because it makes you aware of all the surroundings in this field and what it truly takes to make it as a dancer in this world.

  8. I was really excited for this audition and had a lot of fun doing it. The way I approached the new material was, at first, to look at the big obvious movements and then when it was demonstrated again to concentrate on the details of what they had done. And then make it my own by adding my personality to it where I can. I tried to act like it wasn’t an audition and that I was just taking class so I didn’t let my nerves get the best of me. I thought this was one of my better auditions and I had a lot of fun.

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