What to Wear to your next dance call back: with Rachel Schur
We get asked all the time,
"WHAT DO I WEAR TO MY CALLBACK?!?!"
Well, fear not MMers, our dear friend and inspiration Rachel Schur is here to ease our wardrobe fears
and help us find our most authentic selves and feel our best in the room!
Take it away, Rachel!
Ah, the dance call. I have spent years trying to figure out how to win you. While we all dive into classes, different workouts, diets, and shmoozing, sometimes, I find, it doesn’t matter what you do. Sometimes, it just boils down to who you know, what you look like, and probably if Mercury is in retrograde. If anyone knows me, they can honestly say I can shop like the best of them. I love when I get an appointment for something because that just means I have a super good excuse to make a very important errand to Urban Outfitters (H&M, Lululemon, thrift store,and let’s not get started about online shopping. I’m basic. I get it), swipe that plastic and regret it immensely later. I love the thought process that goes into what the show asks for, how I would look in the show, and what I would need to attain said look.
A large part of me wishes there was some App like Cher Hororwitz’s computer generated closet, which helped her pick out her outfits every morning for auditions. “Going in for Chicago? Here are a pair of fishnets and a black bra. Break legs!”
If any of you have the intelligence or persistence to make this happen, I give you my blessing, and you can probably stop reading after this sentence because you will be a billionaire who won’t need to know what to wear for auditions, because your app will tell you, or your robot butler.
When it comes to dance calls, we know the basics: Show your lines, nothing too baggy, hair off your face, show your personality. With all of that said, it is crucial to be you. Don’t put on a lululemon tank just because everyone else in the room has (even though that fabric is magic,and they usually hold you in with their magical stitching). Yes, be show appropriate (I will touch on that in a bit), but show your personality as well. If you feel good in what you are wearing and showing off, you will dance better. It’s just science. The risky part to that is knowing how far to go with said outfit. It is so important to have confidence and guts in the room, more than anything else. Wearing something you feel and look fabulous in, will give you that extra “umph" that would otherwise be trumped by something too tight, too loose, too blah.
A rule of thumb:know and love your body and what parts you want to show off. If there are areas that you feel uncomfortable showing off, then be mindful of that before you enter the room. Nothing is worse than jumping or turning when you feel like things might pop out or move. On the contrary, if there are areas that you want to accentuate more, by all means DO it.
Be you, show you, it will give you so much power.
Finding the balance between who you are and what show you are going in for can be tricky at times.
“Ok this show is a period piece, should I wear a poodle skirt to this call?”
Most of the time, please don’t do that. However, I have found that people who strive for the essence of the show, while still maintaining their personality and comfortability, always take the cake. Yea, but how the hell do you do that? Easier said than done at times. Let’s say the show is set in the 60’s and the girls dance ensemble and roles are young, fun, hip kids on a tv dance show ( I am clearly pulling this out of my total imagination). Bright colors, flattering lines, and movement (i.e. mini skirts with movement- investigate American Apparel, Capezio, Lululemon, Buffalo Exchange) will help you enter that world while still giving you freedom of movement and personality.
For darker, and sexier shows, skin is in. I don’t mean bare it all, I mean, show off the parts of your body you feel proud of while accentuating your lines with slimming flattering pieces- Long black tights or leggings, tan tights, backless halters or leos, fishnets. Show your lines and show you’re fun :)
Hair and makeup can be a real problem for dance calls. For those girls with the perfect hair that walk out after a sweaty, daunting hour still looking like they did when they walked in, bow down to you. I also sometimes don’t like you so much. I wish I had your gift but, after an hour and a half of 5,6,7,8’s, I look like a wet rat gasping for air. And then what if you have to sing after? Misery.
I think with makeup, depending on the show, less is more. I don’t mean walk in bare, iwokeuplikedis, face. I mean accentuate your eyes, since they want to see you tell a story through them, and give yourself a good lip color that matches you and the essence of the call. Prepare for sweaty times. Primers before and after application are extremely effective (look at Urban Decay’s All Nighter makeup setter, works like a charm! or Ben Nye)
For hair, keep it off your face unless the call calls for some serious hair-ography. A trick I have learned to keep your sweaty scalp from ruining your ‘do’ is a bit of teasing while using a strong dry shampoo as your style. This dries out the roots and gives you plenty of volume and texture to play with! I always use pinterest as a guide for fun hairstyles and tricks to keeping it set all day. Careful, though, pinterest takes you down a dark hole and you may end up putting pastel chalk in your hair.
Don’t do that. It’s a mess.
Wear what you love and feel great in because you will automatically dance better.
Dance calls are fun when you look at them as an aerobic dress up party. :) Have fun!
Have questions? Make sure to leave them in the comments!
More about Rachel:
Rachel is a actress/singer/dancer in NYC. She has toured nationally and internationally with shows like FAME!, A Chorus Line and Jersey Boys. Rachel grew up in her mom's dance studio and regularly returns to teach and choreograph.She regularly attends classes at Steps and BDC and loves working with choreographers on new material! Up next: Rachel is soon starting rehearsals for Cabaret at The Signature Theatre in D.C. this spring!
Check her out on her website: www.rachelschur.com