My Dance Audition

I had an amazing time getting to know some Chinese dancers/students when I auditioned for Fudan’s on-campus hip-hop/street dance group. Here’s the story of my experience!

So I had heard about the hip-hop/street dance group on campus called FUDANSO from a friend I met in my Chinese Marketplace class. She said they had a free introductory class that Wednesday, so we both went over to the studio on campus around 8pm. There were about fifty Chinese students there from Fudan, mostly dressed in jeans and still wearing their backpacks. The instructors were from a studio called Caster Dance in Shanghai, and they showed off their moves for us before teaching us all some very basic introductory steps.

After the teaching session, there was a long speech given by the organizer of the group. It was all in Chinese, so I had to talk to my new Chinese friend “Jennifer” to find out what she was saying. She said that there would be an audition tomorrow night for anyone who wants to perform with the group in their November show. You needed to prepare a minute long piece of choreography to perform. I instantly knew I was going to go.

When I got there the next night I was about 30 minutes early. I heard music coming from the studio and was worried I had missed the beginning of the audition, but some fellow auditioners told me that that was the FUDANSO dancers who were already in the group. There was about 40 of them, and it turns out they were all going to stay to watch the audition!

Once it was our turn to start, we first learned a piece of choreography from  the breakdancing instructor as a group. It took me a bit to get it, but it turned out to be really fun. I assumed we would perform it in smaller groups for them to see, but we just went straight to individual auditons. All the FUDANSO members sat against the mirror and the rest of us stood on the other end of the room. One by one they called us up to perform. I was nervous, but less so because I met guy from Virginia who told me, “Don’t worry, they love foreigners. You’ll get in.”

I was the third one up, and gave them my iPod to play “Starships.” The dancers immediately started clapping and I knew it was going to be a good time. I just danced a combination I half learned half made-up beforehand, and they screamed and clapped at the good parts. It was so fun to hear them applaud at the end; I think they liked me a lot. Afterwards they made me stand there and introduce myself, which I did in Chinese. I wasn’t able to say too much, but they were thoroughly impressed with the four complete sentences I was able to pant out. When I sat back with the other people auditioning they told me how great I was and it was just a really awesome feeling.

The other auditions were really fun to watch as well. There was another guy who did a really cool robot-esque routine, and then there was a string of girls who just danced to Britney Spears in a way that was intending to be sexy but ended up more like an awkward high school talent show. They were always on beat, though! To the point where the musicality was almost lost in some ways because of how on count the movements were. In any case, I always love watching people do their thing!

They told us they would text us about who got in that night, and when I got back to the dorm I got the good news! The robot guy got in as well. They said we rehearse every Wednesday night, and I assume I’ll have more rehearsals once we figure out who is dancing in what pieces for the November show.

So that’s my dance audition story! I’m so excited and happy I tried out. I’ll definitely have a lot more stories and a lot more Chinese friends once I’m done!

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