[News] Scrapping for work in the capital of dance

After barely 15 seconds of dancing for the audition panel at the Radio City gymnasium, there were those who had made the cut, and those who hadn’t. Marks held on to advice she got from a more experienced dancer: don’t think the panel wants you to fail – really, they want you to blow them away.

“That helped me deal with my nerves,” she says. “I went in there knowing I can’t do anything else, so I may as well give it everything I’ve got, and if that’s what they want, it’s what they want.”

Caitlin Marks (second from left) in Candace Brown’s Soul Project Dance Company in rehearsal.

Caitlin Marks (second from left) in Candace Brown’s Soul Project Dance Company in rehearsal.Credit:Andrey Patino

She made it through the first cull. The next day was even more intense, she says: they learnt two new combinations, and had to sing while dancing. This time, Marks was sure she had screwed up: she’d come in with street tap shoes, while everyone else had known to wear the high heel taps the Rockettes sport.

“I was like, ‘Oh gosh, I’m definitely going to get cut.’”

But others were, and she wasn’t. On day three she had to perform all the combinations she had been taught, and learn a new one. “It was two minutes long – I’m not even exaggerating,” Marks says. “So long. And right at the end of the combination you do 32 of the jump kicks that they do. I was so tired, and it was so hard.”

But something clicked. And she is down to a group of 20 dancers for a three-week Rockettes Conservatory at Radio City Music Hall, a pipeline to the annual August auditions for the Christmas Spectacular.

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“I feel pretty stressed but it’s manageable stress,” says Marks. “I need a job right now, and this job would be ideal.”

She has an agent – the prestigious, dance-dedicated MSA agency. One Friday she was told to prepare for a Lil Uzi music video shooting on Sunday. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, yes … It’s a very last-minute industry, a real rollercoaster,” she says

“I do love auditions, I love the pressure, even if I don’t like it in the moment. It’s fun to be on the spot.”

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