Ya’el Tap Auditions

tapdanceAfter my usual church gig this morning at Bayside United Methodist Church, it was off to auditions for Ya’el Tap Dance Company, which I had to leave early in order to make rehearsal for Essential Voices USA.  Last February I auditioned for the group, which I wrote about here.  I’ve been having a blast with these girls, but like all things performance companies in a city of freelancers, people come and go, so it was time to get some new members.

What a difference experience being on the other side of the table.  I was terrified during my audition, trying my best to not let it show, as everyone was tapping circles around me.  This time I was able to just sit back and watch, or jump in and dance when I wanted to, since I already knew the routines.  I think there were about thirty people auditioning and Julie is looking to add three or four more to the group.  I couldn’t stay and watch every dance in their small groups, so I couldn’t make any kind of prediction as to who will be in the company at this time tomorrow.  There were three guys there, so we’ll probably add at least one more.  If it were up to me, I’d stay the only guy –I love the attention–but I don’t think Julie, our founder, wants the group to look like Kevin and The Ladies of Ya’el (though I do think that has a nice ring to it).

It’s always a great learning experience to watch auditions and this one was no different.  You can definitely get a good amount of information about a person just by their presence in the room, before they even start to dance.  You notice any nervous habits, their confidence level, how friendly and social they are with their competition, and whether or not they’re even enjoying the experience.  And I know that comes into play, especially when you have more talented people that you can take.  At that point, you step back and look at the big picture, taking into account everything you know, or think you know, from observing.

I’m generally quiet in group auditions, as I’m just focusing on what I need to do, but I’m willing to bet that the people who get in, are the ones who were team players, and enjoying the people around them.  While I might be focused on doing well, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I run the risk of appearing shy or antisocial.  But if it were me, I’d cast the people who were having a great time with everyone in the room; life’s too short not to have fun.

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Flap heel heel spank heel toe heel

yaeltapToday was a pretty relaxing day, which is just what I needed after an exhausting weekend without much sleep.  I was able to sleep in until 10:30, getting my full eight hours for the first time in a long time.  My buddy Lee came over because he needed new headshots.  I did his last ones, and always have a great time hanging out with him, so it was definitely fun to catch up and get him some new shots (even if we did keep having to take breaks to let the rain fall).

After that, I went to Five Napkin Burger with my buddy Evan, who just got back from a whirlwind tour of shoes.  This guy NEVER stops working, so when he finally makes it back into town, we always have tons to catch up on.

Then it was off to one of my favorite weekly rituals: rehearsal with Ya’el Tap.  I auditioned for the group in January I think, and after a callback that revealed my gross inability to spot, I called my roommate to say “well, I totally blew it, but any time with tap shoes on is time well spent.”  And the fools let me in.  When I checked my e-mail later that night, there was a group e-mail saying “Welcome to Ya’el Tap.”  I waited for about thirty minutes for a follow-up saying “I’m so embarrassed.  I sent the welcome e-mail to the ‘better luck next time’ group.  Please disregard.”  But it never came.  I’ve been dancing with them since January, and am so thankful that Julie never owned up to her mistake and kept me around.

Not only do I get to tap for free (in NYC, with neighbors above and below you, you have to rent a tap-friendly space by the hour) but I have had a blast getting to know and dance with everyone in the group.  Initially, there were two guys in the group, but right before the show, the other guy booked a cruise ship, so since then, I’ve been the token male.  And I love it!  I’m so used to being the only guy in the tap groups I’ve been apart of, that it actually feels more comfortable that way.  Although there’s the occasional mass text before rehearsal saying “can someone bring me a tampon?” which I take in stride and add then add a witty remark.  But these girls are great, and it’s always a great way to unwind, share some laughs, and burn a few calories in the process.


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