Belgian Ballet Dancer to Gay Icon: A closer look at BDC’s Salim “Slam” Gauwloos

It’s Pride month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. New York City–especially Broadway Dance Center–is celebrating love loud and proud by walking in the Pride March again and hosting special Pride March fundraiser classes. Amidst all this joy, pride, and celebration, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come (and also how far we still have to go) in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and respect.  

The arts reflect life, and the dance world has often ignited social change (Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey are but two choreographic changemakers that come to mind). It’s not quite a surprise, then, to know that the dance community had a huge influence on making “gay” visible, accepted, and mainstream.

BDC Student Showcase

Student Showcase: A performance opportunity for all 

Sure, there can be so much fulfillment and joy in taking dance class. You can develop your technique, learn new skills, get a good workout, condition your body, meet new people. But how can you take your dance training to the next level? By taking your experience to the stage and performing. 

And performing doesn’t have to be solely for professionals. Broadway Dance Center celebrates that dancers of all levels and ages should have the opportunity to dance on stage, with lights, makeup, original choreography, the whole deal. Coming up this May 19, at NYC’s Symphony Space, is the BDC Student Showcase, a performance experience that is open to all students of all levels. 

And the Tony Award goes to…

tonys_enews_2016_06

The nominees for this year’s Best Choreography category are all so amazing and so different! We couldn’t pick a winner so now we want to hear from you!

[1]”History from the Tony Awards.” TonyAwards.com. The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®, n.d. Web. 04 June 2016. <http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/history/index.html>.
[2]”Tony Awards Facts & Trivia.” TonyAwards.com. The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®, n.d. Web. 04 June 2016. <http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/history/facts/index.html>.

Agency Auditions

Hear about two of BDC’s Professional Semester Alumni who recently signed with two of the top talent agencies in New York City.  Congratulations, Nikki and Matt!  We’re so proud of you!


Nikki Croker – MSA Agency

Why did you choose to go to the audition?

I chose to go to the MSA open call because it has been the agency that I’ve been looking to sign with since moving to New York. They have a lot of really skilled, talented performers and choreographers signed with them, including some of  my favourite choreographers – Al Blackstone, Josh Bergasse, Derek Mitchell, and Maria Torres. 

How did you prepare for the audition?

I trained really hard all last year taking classes in a variety of styles including Ballet, Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Latin Jazz, Gymnastics, Voice and Acting. I completed the Fall Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center in which we completed 12 classes a week and had helpful seminars regarding headshots and resumes, nutrition, and mock auditions for all different styles. I received a vast amount feedback from this semester that helped me grow tremendously! 

What was the audition environment like?

The audition was at Pearl Studios. There were hundreds of people!  We lined up to get our numbers and you could either audition for ‘commercial’ or ‘theatre’. I decided to audition for both so I was there from about 11am-6.30pm. We learned each combination in about 15 minutes and then performed it in small groups of 5. For the theatre audition we also had to sing a 16 bar cut. 

How did you feel the audition went?

I felt good about the audition –  I had met Lucille at Josh Bergasse’s Music Theatre Summer Program and also at a Professional Semester mock audition, which eased my nerves a little. I had prepared the best way I could before the audition and knew that I gave my best, no matter the outcome.

When did you receive the call?

 I received the call about 10 days later. I was puppy-sitting at the time and I was playing with the dog Captain when my phone started ringing. I don’t think I’ll forget the day – I was so excited!

Matt Tremblay – Bloc/NYC Agency

Why did you choose to go to the audition?

I chose to go to the audition for the experience. Auditions are a perfect learning atmosphere to figure out your strengths and weaknesses in order to move forward.

How did you prepare for the audition?

I did my research on which choreographers the agency represents because I knew some of them would be teaching the audition combinations. I was sure to hit the gym and take class a lot prior to the audition.  I also did a lot of positive-thinking and reflecting to be mentally ready.

What was the audition environment like?

The studios were packed with dancers! We were typed cast right away.  I felt like it was quite competitive in there until we got to the last few cuts; After a long day, the atmosphere became more supportive.

How did you feel the audition went?

I felt extremly hyped and full of energy all day. As the day went by and I was asked to stay, I surprisingly become more relaxed! This completely shoked me, but I realized that it was just a matter of giving everything I have and hoping for the best.

When did you receive the call?

I was informed 5 days later, Friday at 5:30pm.  I remember the entire conversation!  That was the longest 5 days of my life!  I was so happy and I couldn’t believe it at first. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a dream until I signed my contract and I heard “Welcome to Bloc.”

Mamma Mia! – Broadway Choreography Series with Allyson Carr

This ongoing series offers the opportunity to learn the original choreography to some of Broadway’s finest shows, presented by actual cast members straight from the stage to the studio.
On April 3rd and 5th, “Mamma Mia!” dance captain,

Allyson Carr visited Broadway Dance Center to teach the choreography from the show’s finale “Dancing Queen.”  Students couldn’t help but sing-along to the well-know ABBA classic as they learned the combination, which is taught at the Broadway auditions for “Mamma Mia!”  Though not technically intricate, the choreography challenged students to showcase their individual personalities within the movement.   Following the fun combination, BDC students joined Allyson in a Q&A about her dance career which has included professional performance in ballet, hip hop, modern, and theater!  When asked to give audition advice, Carr responded, “We are watching you the minute you walk in the room.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the best dancer in the world;  You have to be someone that we are drawn to work with.”

Upcoming workshops in BDC’s Broadway Choreography Series:

“How to Succeed…” with Chris Bailey: April 7th and 14th, 12-1:30pm
“Evita” with Chris Bailey: April 10th and 12th, 1:30-3pm
“Chicago” with David Kent: April 14th, 10:30-12pm