Denver Outlaws Dance Team Tryouts

The Denver Outlaws Dance team held a very successful audition on April 12th, 2008.  There were 60 women that showed up to be a part of the Outlaws Dance team.  Only 10 out of the 60 women would be chosen for the team this year.  The audition began at 10am and lasted through the afternoon.  Brieanna Mercer, the Outlaws choreographer, and a couple of demo girls taught the candidates an “across the floor” routine which consisted of basic kicks, leaps and a little style.  After all the girls learned this routine they went in groups of 3 in front of the judges.  They danced to Watcha Waiting For by Gwen Stefani.  After all the girls danced for the judges in groups of three, it was time for the first cut.  The judges cut the field from 60 to 37 girls.  Then the girls learned yet another routine and danced in groups of three in front of the judges.  For this round they danced to Magic Carpet Ride.  After the girls were finished with the second round the judges then cut the field from 37 girls to 10.  The 10 who made the Outlaws Dance Team were: #5 Lara Lutes, #11 Stephanie Long, #14 Candice Vecchiarelli, #23 Alissa Flanagan, #26 Christi Cameron , #33 Jessica Magee , #34  Chelsea Hunt , #43 Lelanna Simmons, #46 Amy Svec and #53 Jenna Tavares. 

Below is an interview with Brieanna Mercer, Director and Choreographer: 

1.  What preparations do you do to be ready for a dance tryout?  As a dancer the audition process is so difficult. Eating healthy, working out, taking dance classes, sharpening up on any knowledge you need to know about the organization, the sport itself, and the dance team. If your auditioning to dance for an outdoor lacrosse team I would hope the dancer would know a little about the sport of lacrosse. As the director/choreographer it’s crucial to get the word out. Marketing is key for a relatively new dance team. I sent fliers to dance studios, talked to studio directors to help spread the word, I emailed cheerleading coaches and dance coaches at Universities, and I talked to past teammates of mine from the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders to help out as well. I also had to find judges, demo dancers, choreograph a routine, teach the routine to the demo girls, and a tiny bit of paper work went into this whole process as well. 

2. What specific qualities do you look for in the girls to make the team?  Diversity is key because you don’t want everyone to look the same. Dance ability is a must. You have to have strong technique and style. I love sharp heads, nice kicks, double turns or more, turns in 2nd, and musicality. 

3. After making the team, how much practice is required? I hold practices Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 9:30. If the girls work hard I’ll let them leave early. I expect them to practice at home as well so I don’t have to repeat what I taught them the previous practice. 

4. For women wanting to try out, what suggestions can you give them to prepare? First and foremost, get in dance classes. Work on your kicks and turns, get technique from a ballet class and take a turns and progressions class. You can never take too many classes. Learn about the sport your wanting to audition for. If it’s football, learn more about the team their record from the previous years, the draft, who got traded, anything that involves the team and the sport itself. If it’s lacrosse, do your homework and learn the rules, and try your best to understand the game, in fact go to a couple games and watch the dancers so you can check out the style of that particular choreographer and you can always email the director to see what she is looking for.  When it comes time to audition make yourself presentable. Come with your hair down, makeup on, and nice dance attire, I would suggest dance pants or shorts along with a half top. 

5. Are there any dance studios you can recommend for women wanting to get into dance? I would look into Centerstage Starz, Shelly True Dance Academy, Motion Underground. Each studio offers something unique and different so it just depends on what your looking for.

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