Pro Advice for Dancers to 
Start the New Year
The World Dances is fortunate to speak with myriad inspiring artists. We asked stars, rising stars, and role models from all walks of the dance world about their advice for aspiring dancers who might like to follow in their footsteps. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite responses to help kick off the new year with passion and intention!
Rachel Moore, President and CEO of The Music Center in Los Angeles 
"You really have to market yourself. Some artistic director isn't necessarily going to wander by and notice that you're super talented. You need to be able to present yourself. But at root, as an artist, you need to know what is special about your voice and what you bring to the table and you need to be able to articulate that. Artists need to think about their own mission statements. Why are you doing this? Why are you special? What are your attributes? Are you a great storyteller? Can you evoke others' emotions? Write it down, even if it's still a draft. Just start thinking about it. Build it into your personal brand of who you are and how you promote yourself. You promote yourself through social media, when you're applying for jobs, through pitches, through meeting people at events.  You need to be able to talk about it and make people see what you're about."
Kate Lydon, Artistic Director of ABT Studio Company and ABT Summer Intensive programs
"To prepare yourself for summer programs, take classes before you begin your intensive! You want to arrive ready so that you do not get injured or overwhelmed. Summer Intensives are intense!"
Sara Michelle Murawski, Principal Dancer 
"Do everything you can to enhance your dancing beyond your classes, like pilates, gyrotonics, cross-training, or conditioning. Healthy eating and exercise are key to becoming strong enough to eventually pull off leading roles.  Most importantly, stay passionate about dance. Watch live performances and videos.  See different kinds of art. Do whatever inspires you to remember your love and hunger for this art form. That passion, regardless of where you are technically, always comes through on stage. Dance is hard and there will be times when you feel hurt. You need that passion to pull you through and to be able to keep growing."
Alexandra Wilson, Colorado Ballet Studio Company 
"Do not worry about what everybody else is doing. As dancers, we get so caught up in where one's going for a summer intensive or how much scholarship money somebody else got. Understand that your path as a dancer is never going to be the same as anyone else's. Keep persisting, working to your full potential, and sharing your passion. You'll get there one day."
Dana Nicolay, Professor of Dance, Sam Houston University
"You've got to believe in yourself and at the same time cut yourself no slack. You don't have time to think that you're already good enough. You need to keep making progress towards a standard, and that standard has to be one of your own making. It's key that this not come from anyone else. If you're trying to please your teacher or choreographer, you're insecure and uncertain all the time. You have to cultivate your own vision and pursue it with total dedication through the pain, through the frustration, all the time."

Read more inspiring insights.

5 Tips to Get the Most of 
Your  Audition Season

Audition season for summer intensives is just around the corner. This can be a stressful time of year, but it's also an opportunity to cultivate and apply skills- - dance skills, yes, but also the easy-to-overlook soft skills you need as a professional. Auditioning is a fact of life for a dancer, and learning to do it as well as you can will help you succeed. Here are five tips for upping your audition powers. Merde!

1)   Be polite and professional before you're even in the door.
You never know who will happen to be around in the parking lot, the registration area, or warm up space. A positive and gracious attitude doesn't go unnoticed. Nor does the opposite.

2)   Be prepared.
It's important to be and look organized and composed, even if something goes wrong at the last minute. Carry an emergency kit with a needle and thread (or dental floss), extra bobby pins, a pair of tights without runs, and any other back-ups you might need. Also have an envelope with extra copies of your photos and CV in case of spills or rips.

3)   Do your research.
Know as much as you can about the program for which you're auditioning. Did someone from your school attend over a previous summer? Ask them about it! Look online. Ask your teachers if they have insights. Know why you want to pursue this program. Is it to learn a new style? To work with specific teachers? To get hired? Knowing this will help you to set your own intentions and prepare, and that kind of focus can help you stand out. It can also help you to stand out to succinctly articulate why a program is important to you when you thank the teacher and panel.

4)   Reflect honestly after each audition.
Following an audition, take some time to seriously consider what you think you did well and what you think you could do better next time. Go deeper than, "don't fall out of the quadruple pirouette." Ask yourself which behaviors you should repeat next time and which you should alter. If you fell out of a daring pirouette, maybe attempt one fewer turns next time to ensure you dance cleanly. Or, maybe you usually nail them and a repeatable behavior is to push yourself with confidence. It's up to you, but you'll improve if you take the time to genuinely review your performance and the factors behind it. You might consider keeping a journal to keep track -- and to look back on your growth!

5)   Take care of yourself!
It's intense to add auditions to your already demanding schedule. Be sure to eat well, get enough sleep (or as close as possible), and try to minimize other pressures during audition season. This might entail getting organized with your academic work in advance. The last thing you want to be thinking about when you're being shown a combination is a deadline the next day. Think about your priorities and obligations ahead of time and try to make -- and stick to- - a schedule that will distribute your stress with as little drama as possible. That said, taking care of yourself also means keeping perspective. Whatever helps you do this -- meditating, talking with friends, yoga, movie binges, reading, etc.- - find some "you time" to enjoy it.
By Tamara Johnson


Dance in Video Games

Photo: Scene from Bound

The World Dances has written about university dance programs' evolving emphasis on preparing students to produce dance works for screens. We've all seen dance in Youtube videos and are increasingly accustomed to seeing dance on television and movie screens. Though it's a little less obvious what this means in the context of video games. A new game called Bound gorgeously proves how stunning this medium can be.
The main character, whom you inhabit as the player, is an alien princess who is tasked with saving her world. The world looks something like if Dali and Escher made a constantly shifting painting together. The princess explores her environs and fights her battles entirely through dance.
"This was my first time creating movement for a video game," says choreographer Michal Adam Goral. "I had never been connected to this field before."
Goral and dancer Maria Udod started with studio sessions. They experimented with movements and movement qualities they thought would express the motivations of the princess' character. For their first session, the game's producers kept the artists in relative dark. "We had only a list of movements they wanted to see," says Goral. "They came to check on us to see what directions we were taking those ideas and what emotions they thought we were evoking and provided feedback. After the first session we were introduced to the storyline and we got to play a demo of the game. You discover the storyline only through gameplay, so that gave us a much deeper understanding of what the character does and why. We were able to produce much more complex material after that."
The end result is gorgeous.  It will be fascinating to see how this creative trend evolves and influences a new generation of artists. Read more about the challenges and creative process involved.
By Tamara Johnson  

January 5, 2018
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Congratulations to the December 2017 Harlequin Floors Scholarship Winners!
Harlequin Floors awarded four $250 scholarships to dancers last month.  Enjoy watching their scholarship-winning videos below.  


December 2017 Judges' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Allison Garcia
La Busqueda

December 2017 Judges' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Andrew Stanifer
Audition Piece

December 2017 Viewers' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Kelly Guerrero
Self-choreographed Solo

December 2017 Viewers' Choice 
Harlequin Scholarship Winner
Solo at Radix 2017
Will the New Year Bring You 
a N ew Job in the Arts
You will find more than 60 current job listings on New listings include an Assistant Professor in Dance: Ballet Technique at Florida State University, School of Dance; the Chair of the Department of Dance at Radford University; an Associate Professor role at the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance; and an Assistant Professor of Studio Practice in Dance at the University of the Arts.  Both Grand Rapids Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago are seeking Development Directors. BalletMet is looking for a Music Coordinator and ADF has an open role for a Video Producer and Editor.  Check out these and all the current listings on  Our best to all the organizations seeking quality team members and the professionals seeking new roles.
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TheWorldDances E-Newsletter Team


Publisher:  Karla Johnson

Editor:       Tamara Johnson

Producer:   Ester Rodriguez