Michigan Dance Team Auditions for 2015-16

Spring Tryouts for the 2015-16 Team

Sunday, March 22 -- 12-5 p.m. (Cliff Keen Arena) -- OPTIONAL pre-audition clinic ($25)
- To participate in the clinic, you must fill out this release form and bring it with you:

Thursday, March 26 -- 8-11 p.m. (Cliff Keen Arena) -- Clinic #1 and first cuts
Friday, March 27 -- 6-8 p.m. (Cliff Keen Arena) -- Clinic #2 and second cuts
Saturday, March 28 -- 8-11 a.m. (Revelli Hall) -- Interviews
Saturday, March 28 -- 12-5 p.m. (Cliff Keen Arena) -- Clinic #3
Sunday, March 29 -- 9-5 p.m. (Cliff Keen Arena) -- Final Cuts

Location: Cliff Keen Arena is located at 616 E. Hoover, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Parking is available on the side streets.

For directions, call: 734-763-3084.

For more information, email head coach Valerie Stead Potsos at vspotsos@umich.edu.

You MUST have completed Tryout Registration, MDT Biography Packet and proof of physical within the past 6 months to participate.

$20 Audition fee upon registration

Please bring a headshot photo and wear tight fitting clothing such as: jazz pants and tank tops for the auditions so the judges can see your lines.

Audition Information

Interested in being a member of the Michigan Dance Team? Here you will find out what you need to know about the audition process and what it takes to be a Michigan Dance Team member. Being a part of the Michigan Dance Team is a wonderful experience but requires both time and money commitments, so be aware that each member is fully dedicated to the team.

Tryouts happen once a year in the Spring. If you have a legitimate reason that you cannot make the Spring auditions and want to inquire about an audition via video please contact MDTadmin@umich.edu

Audition Process

Candidates will go through several rounds of auditioning before they are offered a spot on the team. The candidates go through two cuts, an interview and a final audition. Candidates will be required to learn several routines which could be in any style from jazz to hip hop or pom or all three.

For the first two rounds of tryouts, candidates will go through a class-style audition using across-the-floor technique combinations as the basis for their assessment. They will also begin to learn one or more of the routines. At the end of the nights, a cut will be made.

The second round begins with an interview, where candidates will have a brief informal interview with the captains and coach. Also that day, the candidates will finish learning the audition dances.

The last and final round of tryouts, candidates will be judged in pairs by a panel of outside judges. Candidates will do technique across the floor and center floor in front of the judges and then will perform the dances they have learned. Candidates will be scored on their technique, style, performance and memorization. Candidates' scores will be tallied on-site that day and will be notified within 24 hours of the decision.

Video Information

We prefer to meet all of our candidates in person, but if you are unable to attend our auditions, you can audition via DVD for the 2015-2016 Michigan Dance Team!

Please submit a headshot photo along with your $50 audition fee payable to "Michigan Dance Team" and send to:

The University of Michigan Dance Team
c/o Valerie Stead Potsos
1000 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

On your DVD, please demonstrate the following technical requirements in this order:

  • Right and left leaps (jetes): Execute these across the floor. At least 2 on each side.
  • Right and left switch leaps: Same thing, at least 2 on each side.
  • Leap in second: Coming from both the right and the left, at least one on each side.
  • Switch center: Both Right and Left.
  • Toe touch: Just one, center floor.
  • Right and left pirouettes: Center floor, just prepare and do as many turns as you can CLEANLY do on each side.
  • Fouettes: 8 regular fouettes center floor on the right side (these are the ones where yourleg does bend and come into your knee each time). If left is your good side, feel free to demonstrate that as well.
  • A la seconde fouettes: (or turns in second) These are fouettes in which your working leg never bends, but remains out in second the whole time. Please do 8 on the right side (and again if you wish, the left as well. End the fouette combination in a double pirouette).
  • Fouetee Combination: Show us a fouetee combination that adds other skills, like axels, attitude turns, etc.
  • Calypsos (jetes or leaps with the back leg in attitude): Begin with a chaine in releve and turn into the leap with the back leg in attitude.
  • Turning Disks or Turning Leaps in Second: Begin with a chaine in releve, then a chaine in plie, then turn into a leap in second.
  • Leg Hold Turns (right or left): Chaine in plie and extend your leg in front or to the side of the body. Hold the leg while turning. Just prepare and execute as many turns as you can cleanly perform.
  • A Pom Skill Combination: Demonstrate correct arm placement and motions for High V's, T's Low V's, Goalposts and any other pom skills.
  • A Solo Technical Jazz Piece (no more than 2 minutes)
  • A Solo Hip-Hop Piece (no more than 2 minutes)
  • A Group Performance with you in it demonstrating Jazz, Hip-Hop and/or Pom skills (no more than 2 minutes)

If you have never done some of these technical elements, do not worry! All we ask is that you try to do them all. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or call!

At the beginning of the video, please state your name, a little about your dance background and briefly why you want to become a member of the team. Please label your video with your name, address, phone and email address. Sorry, videos cannot be returned. As for attire, just wear dance clothes that show your body lines, nothing baggy, and wear your hair pulled back. WE MUST RECEIVE YOUR DVD NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, MARCH 20. You will be notified via email about your tryout result no later than in the morning on Monday, March 30. If you are selected for the team, there will be a new team meeting on Monday, March 30, from 7-8 p.m. in the Michigan Union.

If you have any questions about the video audition process or required technique, please contact coach Valerie Potsos at (734) 709-6155 or vspotsos@umich.edu. Thank you again for your interest in our program!

Best of Luck! Go Blue!
The Michigan Dance Team

Required Technique

Right and left leaps
Right and left front and side kicks
Right and left switch leaps
Leap in second from right and left
Chaine into a leap in second (flying saucer)
Right and left pirouettes
Fouettes and turns in second on right
Leg turns
Toe touch