A peek into ASU's Hip Hop Coalition and the cutthroat world of dance

As the year begins, ASU's Hip Hop Coalition is on the lookout for the best dancers on campus

The world of dance can be a cruel yet rewarding place for a dancer, and nobody know that better than ASU's very own Hip Hop Coalition (HHC), who just held auditions for its 2017-2018 team.

Beth Rosenberg, a psychology senior and secretary of HHC, said she enjoys adding new members to the team, but said she knows that not all who try out can make it.

“But with an audition team, you have to cut some people because not everyone is going to be good enough,” Rosenberg said. “And with the second rounds, we definitely try to nail down who we feel is a good fit for the team personality-wise.”

Rosenberg said the process is fairly fast, with the dancers having roughly 45 minutes to learn a combo or one minute of choreography. Within that minute of dancing, she said auditionees must present who they are and prove they are the best candidate in front of the judges.

Everyone has their numbers, you go in a couple people at a time, between 5 to 6 people, and you do the dance," she said. "They (the judges) question you to see why you want to be on the team."

Tallee Klewicki, a freshmen majoring in industrial design, said auditioning for HCC is not as simple as regurgitating a dance.  She said there is a level of technical ability the dancers must meet in order to be considered for the team. 

“If you’re doing [something] like contemporary or ballet, they’re going to look at different things than if you’re doing hip-hop," Klewicki said. "They want you to articulate your moves well. They want you to be big and to have a lot of personality because those are the things that make you stand out on a stage."

Klewicki comes out of her group’s audition to an applauding crowd. She said she liked how supportive everyone was and felt confident in her performance at the second audition. 

“Last week I really screwed it up and I was freaking out, and then I got a call back," she said. "You know my hopes are high but you just never know. Lay it all out there and hope they like you."

ASU alumna and choreographer for the team, Alyssa Johnson said she wants to see how everyone dances cohesively rather than with their individual style.

“I think for the audition process it's more about something where you can see how hard the dancers hit and if they could dance clean as a team," Johnson said.  "It's a lot less groovy and stylistic and more so seeing who can blend and mesh as a team.”

Johnson said dancers who come to the auditions do everything they can during those two minutes, and their spot lies in the hands of the people who are hiring them. 

“Auditions for commercial things are a lot more cutthroat," she said.  "If you’re cut, you’re cut."

Reach the reporter at ihaugen@asu.edu and follow @haugen_dazs on Twitter. 

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