If you're a dancer about to graduate high school, you don't need to be told just how much COVID-19 has taken away from you. You deserve to be celebrated for your accomplishments. And you also deserve a leg up (pun most definitely intended) when it comes to your dance career, since the pandemic has put most traditional professional opportunities on hold.
We've got you covered on the first count. New York City Dance Alliance is here to help you with the second. It's launched a National Dance Discovery Showcase, open to all graduating high school seniors, intended to help dancers in a variety of styles kickstart their careers. And NYCDA has enlisted the help of some the most respected dance artists in the business.
Here's how it works: First, submit your solo video by this Friday, May 22. (Actually, you can submit one solo in each of the four performance categories: concert dance, Broadway/theater dance, classical/contemporary ballet, and commercial dance.) Everybody who uploads a video will be part of a virtual "discovery showcase" broadcast. And everyone will receive critiques from one of the professional mentors, who are a fabulously impressive bunch: The list includes Andy Blankenbuehler, Marguerite Derricks, David Parsons, Sonya Tayeh, Tiler Peck, Sascha Radetsky, and Desmond Richardson, to name just a few.
From there, the mentors will narrow the field to a semi-final level of 100, a final level of 40, and ultimately a top 12—three from each performance category. Each of the top 12 will received a two-day "professional experience" with their mentor, a $1000 scholarship from the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, and a $600 summer intensive scholarship or a $4000 conservatory scholarship from Steps on Broadway.
Full details and registration info for the Discovery Showcase can be found here. Merde, seniors!