Sakata Mashariki (Sakata 5) is about to begin. This will be my third season judging Sakata and I’d like to give the crews a little extra assistance as they prepare to audition. There are so many crews who are good that do horribly during the audition process and are left wondering, “What happened?” or “It wasn’t my fault. The judges are mean…especially…Joanne.” The truth is, we probably saw something that you as a crew did not see. In order to be a bit more successful next time here are a few tips to remember while you’re getting ready.
1. Start stretching – I can see when you’re straining to get that leg up in the air or when your extensions are done with ease. Taking time to stretch goes a long way…no pun intended:) Try Yoga or ballet stretches. You can find clips on youtube to follow or check out the Africa Yoga Project for their class schedule.
2. Get your fitness level up- Your audition piece is not even two minutes long. If you’re about to die after two minutes of dancing please go home and come back next year. Go for a jog with your crew everyday before practice or begin with following one of the crew members in spontaneous dance steps for an hour before choreography even begins.
3. Practice eye contact- beyond technique the judges need to know that you are enjoying what you do. Perform your technique and your routine with joy. Make it look fun.
4. Wow us- you only have a minute to wow us during the audition. This means that in the first 30 seconds we need to see something amazing.
5. Choose creatively- Remember the auditions are the most painful parts of being a judge. After sitting all day listening to the same music mixes and watching horrible routines sometimes I want to slit my throat. Choose creative routines and music mixes to make my job less painful.
6. Own the Stage- I know that you are under pressure and frankly I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. Even though you’re nervous don’t let us know. Even when you are walking onto the stage your posture should say, “We own this!” Walk with your head high, chest out and look us in the eye like, “I’m not afraid of you.” Fake it till you make it…into Sakata 5.
Overall I wish all of you the best during the auditions! We are crossing the border this year so welcome to Tanzania and Uganda! I can’t wait to see what this year brings.