I held auditions for the Leopold Group once (almost 6 years ago). I did it because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. That’s also why I joined a sorority in college, wore velour jump suits in high school and spent hours trying to straighten my unruly, curly hair for most of my adolescent life. Of course, peer pressure can also be useful – teaching me to move on from single-soled ballet shoes and scrunchie socks. But I digress…
I have been both an auditionee and an auditioner and I disliked both roles equally. Of course, I understand the necessity. But one of the perks of being a small, independent company is that we can do pretty much whatever we want in this department. And what works for us is keeping our rehearsal process an open door for interested parties. Dancers who think we’re neat can come in and check us out and experience a “day in the life” of a Leopold Group dancer. Sometimes they stick around – that’s how both Laura and Amanda ended up joining us – and sometimes we scare them away with our lack of temperature controlled studio space and awkward phrasework.
Alyssa Gregory, a lovely dancer from Virginia, recently expressed some interest in our operation. She braved Bikram-style rehearsals and put up with my amorphous choreographic beginning (we just started a new work). So we had coffee on Saturday and she asked…”So, am I a company member?” It felt like that moment when you finally ask the person you’re dating for a title.
And yes, Alyssa is now officially our girlfriend.