Surrounded by both the fittest and most diverse group of women I’d ever seen; hordes of beautiful, toned and elegant women of all different races lined up on the LIU basketball court. I leaned against a wall on the sidelines wearing a pair of leggings and a 2012 Lollapalooza t-shirt. The dancers stretched their lithe bodies while I stood, nervously observing them.
I said, “This is going to be bad,” and in fact, this was in many ways my personal hell. I flashed back to when I was four, wearing a purple tutu on stage: I just stood there frozen for the entire recital as girls danced around me. It was the day my family and I decided that I was just not cut out to be a dancer.
Why I agreed to attend a Brooklynette Audition Intensive, I will never know. The three-hour session held before the auditions is where dancers can “gain an edge.” There are two sessions, each featuring a routine straight from the Barclays Center court and advice from both the Brooklynettes and the coach/choreographer Adar Wellington (who — fun fact — starred in an Usher music video).
The Tuesday session, where I creeped toward the back, like a true go-getter, taught a hip-hop routine to none other than Lil Jon’s“Outta Your Mind.” It was like Lil Jon was telling me, “You’re outta your mind, Megan. Why are you here?”
About 110 young women showed up. Some were college students, while others worked day jobs. Some had previously auditioned and for some this was the first time. All of them loved to dance, and all of them seemed just as nervous as I was.
I quickly remembered, though, that I was still leagues behind my fellow auditionees in the NBA dance moves department. I cannot even begin to explain how difficult this was.
First on the docket was the warm-up.
I am sure for most, the warm-up was a breeze. I, however, was struggling, surrounded by a pool of sweat. The first thing I quickly realized is that it wouldn’t kill me to do a sit-up or two every once in a while, though perhaps this warm-up would actually kill me. Also, how these women keep their voluminous hair and makeup so flawless, I must know. Their hair is full of secrets.
Jump ahead to the mini pre-routine. Spinning, walking, kicking and more spinning, I attempted three out of every five moves. I figured I would serve as a confidence booster for those around me, but I was wrong. These women were hard on themselves and way too stressed to even realize that I kicked while they spun and stood while they slid on the ground.The sound of court burn echoed throughout this entire fiasco.
After the mini pre-routine, it was time for the real routine. Here is a nice video of what that is supposed to look like:
Cool, right? But that is not what I looked like. There was a lot of flailing and confusion. I stood frozen as Brooklynette hopefuls danced around me (sound familiar?) after multiple failed attempts to get Metro's photographer to go dance while I snapped pictures.
The women around me were strong, coordinated, unbelievable dancers with an ability to seamlessly connect all these dance moves in a way that makes it look easy -- but it is so far from easy. I thought there would be more novice dancers to keep me company, but everybody else seemed to be trained, if not professional.
If I were asked to do a single move from that dance, I am not sure I could. It is all a blur. I tapped out right before all the cartwheel-esque action on the ground occurred. I have no regrets.
What you need to know for auditions
-Tattoos and piercings are okay, but if a woman makes the team tattoos must be covered and only stud earrings are allowed for performances.
-There is an interview part of the audition on the second day in order to get to know more about the woman auditioning. The Brooklynettes participate in a number of events where the team needs to be able to talk in front of people and socialize.
-Confidence is everything. Confidence in what you're wearing, how you look, and in your dance ability. You know, fake it ‘til you make it.