Alright so you made it to the audition, you killed the choreography, they kept you all the way until the end, and now they want to see you freestyle… But in your dictionary the words Freestyle, and Confident are nowhere near each other. What do you do?!? Freeze? Quit? Walk out? NO WAY! If you’re a natural freestyle dancer, or that is your specialty then the bulk of this article will not be for you. But if you are like the majority of commercial dancers nowadays who do not practice their freestyles or feel very self conscious about it then please, I emplore you, READ ON…
Free style should not be thought up in your head to be this big scary monster that you dread. I know I am exaggerating but if this is even remotely the case for you then you need to change your associations mentally first. Free Style is FREEDOM! It is complete freedom to let me music move you how ever you choose. First and foremost free style is freedom of movement, secondly it is a space where you can cultivate the movement styles that will make YOU stand out from everyone else at an audition.
Here are a few simple Do’s and Don’ts for stepping your free style game up!
DO: Be at least proficient in the fundamentals of hip hop styles if you consider yourself a competitively marketable hip hop/ commercial dancer. There is no excuse for not understanding what a WAVE, a POP, or a WRIST ROLL is if you call yourself a hip hop dancer! I am not here to preach whose class to take, or where to train your fundamentals but I am here to tell you that if you see yourself onstage with any mainstream pop or RnB artist then you need to be proficient in these fundamentals just as you should have some base of ballet knowledge, jazz training, contemporary, etc.
DON’T: Pretend like you are proficient in these styles if you’re not. I cannot tell you how many times I have been at an audition and have seen someone who clearly has no real practice under their belt trying to Pop, Lock, Wave, Isolate, etc. STOP IT! SIT DOWN! It is embarrassing both to yourself and to everyone watching. There is NOTHING wrong with simply grooving to the music and showing that you can perform with your face during your freestyle if that is all you have. Stick with what you know your good at in the audition room, but make sure to seek out that additional training on your own time.
DO: Practice Free styling: Give yourself time to practice your free style. Take an hour or two, put on some music and just vibe out. Practice the different moves that your working on trying to perfect and get over the awkward movement phases in the comfort of your own room or space before trying it at an audition. Like any other style of dance, Free Styling takes practice to get good at. There are no shortcuts I am afraid. But glory, and more importantly for you, GIGS, go to those who put in the work over time.
DON’T: Do any move in your audition free style that you can’t do 10/10 times perfectly at home. Watching someone barely land a back tuck, Totally screw up a back handspring, or any other variety of acrobatic moves at an audition is what? You guessed it! EMBARRASSING! 🙂 Don’t be “THAT GIRL”. You could totally kill the entire audition and then ruin all your chances with a desperate free style. So, keep it simple and just stick to moves that you know like the back of your hand.
Remember that your free style is really where you show them who YOU are as a dancer. You should want to cease that opportunity for every second its worth! That time is invaluable to you as an artist. it is your time to create something that will move someone and will make them want you so badly that they could care less how many times you messed up the choreography (because, in all honestly most mistakes can be corrected in the rehearsal process). DON’T shy away from freestyle. DO Take that moment for all its worth and make a statement with your movement!
For more info on auditioning, taking class, and many more tips and tricks to help your professional dance career, check out http://www.bookdancejobs.com to grab your copy of “The Ultimate Career Guide For Professional Dancers.