BY GABRIELLE GUZ
Saturday, July 13 might be a lucky day for some aspiring dancers: the Brooklyn Nets will offer open-call auditions for its top-notch dance group, the Brooklynettes, at 10 a.m., at the Hill Center on St. Joseph’s College campus, 212 Vanderbilt Ave.
Brooklynettes represent the Nets at home in New York, as well as internationally — namely in Mexico, Italy, England, Russia and Singapore — and they perform at every home game at Barclays Center.
Though registration for their dance workshops is closed, dancers aged 18 and up can still apply for an Audition Prep Series, which will be held June 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street. Participants should plan to come in both days for two sessions.
They will practice a range of dance techniques, like hip hop and the athletic combo, under tutelage from the Brooklyn Nets Entertainment Director Criscia Long and Brooklynettes Coach Asha Singh, among other advisers.
Singh, who was a Brooklynette captain for three years and will be coach this season, recalled how surreal her first audition was. She said that over 400 women from varying dance backgrounds tried out.
While “some hadn’t gotten their footing in the ground, when it came to their careers,” according to Singh, others had already danced for talents like Lady Gaga, Beyonce and JLo, and had been recurring dancers for “Saturday Night Live.”
“It was really cool that we were all in the room together, as a club, trying to be on the team,” Singh said. “The experience has been pretty exciting. My life has been a whirlwind ever since joining the organization.”
During the open-call auditions on July 13, Danielle Polanco, a choreographer for FX’s TV series “Pose” and for Beyoncè music videos, and a lead dancer in Cardi B and Bruno Mars’s music video “Finesse,” will lead participants through their first routine. Charles Smith, a celebrity choreographer who has worked with artists like Ciara and Rihanna, will take over the dancers’ instruction the next day.
According to Long, Brooklynette team members must be “strong as individual dancers” and possess the ability to “blend into the team, with diverse dance styles.” They must be “dynamic and innovative, and should speak eloquently on the brand’s growing culture in Brooklyn,” she added.
Aside from performing, the team gets involved with community service. Each cohort of Brooklynettes can work privately or in studios with young dancers at any level, from beginners to the advanced.
“Even if they don’t want to dance in the long-term, I think the arts is a great way to keep kids focused,” said Singh. “If I can help in any way with that, I am all for it.”
Singh described the Brooklynettes as a passionate and supportive organization for dancers.
“One of the best things about this team is the community and the family that it brings,” said Singh. “It’s really cool that the Brooklynettes has given us that sense of family, while we are trying to live out our dreams.”
This season’s guest judges will include Miles Keeney of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame, BLOC Talent Agency representative Fatima Wilson, and Nick Kenkel, a cast member in Broadway’s EVITA and who has collaborated with artists like Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey.
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