Elite team tryouts for 12 & up took place Wednesday, June 20th with a great showing of dancers and talent!
Before the parent/dancer meeting with Miss Jillian, Mr. Rob, Mr. Charlie, Miss Laura and Miss Brooke, senior Abbey Zerbe stated, “I’m really excited and I think we are all nervous.”
Fifth grader Lauren Gilbert followed with, “I’m really nervous but I know I can do it. This is the first time I have auditioned on the older dancer night, and I am excited.” Friend and sixth grader Lauren Minarik added, “Auditions are really fun.”
Junior Lexi Maas is looking forward to her 10th year as a dancer with DDD. “I am not nervous like I was in previous years,” she said. “I am really happy to be back and to dance with everyone again.”
Meet the Staff
Miss Laura, who recently graduated from Alma College, taught the ballet choreography for the audition. She said, “I am looking for technique and application of Cecchetti from their ballet training. I am also looking for performance and for them to not worry about getting the steps exactly right. I really like seeing their progress and improvement from year to year.”
Teacher Miss Brooke is entering her second year as an Elite team teacher, and taught the ballet combo for the older junior level Tuesday night. She was very impressed with the younger group and is looking forward to the older group auditioning tonight. She said, “I am looking for confidence and performance quality. I want to see more than their steps. Their personalities and confidence needs to come out while they are dancing.”
Mr. Charlie who has been pulling double duty this week with auditions and running the first summer of Boot Camp, has been very pleased with how the week is progressing. “I am impressed with how talented the incoming group of recreational dancers was last night. (Referring to the young dancers auditioning for their first time.) They were excited to be here and audition. They have so much interest in learning and being more involved. There is a lot of potential in this group, which bodes well for the future of the Elite team.”
Parent/Teacher Meeting with Miss Jillian, Mr. Rob and Staff
Junior Emma Buschle with seniors Katy Arnold and Lindsay Abell was very excited to perform Miss Kalie’s choreography for the judges. “I love it! The piece is very fast and intricate.” Katy Arnold added, “Kalie’s work is always fantastic.”
Good luck to all who auditioned Wednesday evening. The letters of acceptance will be mailed shortly!
Meet the Judges
Peyton Avery (left) is a 2014 DDD alumnus who is attending Oakland University and studying finance and dance. She is currently a Detroit Lions Cheerleader. This is her first year judging for Elite auditions. “I am excited to be back to see old and new faces. I am looking for personality and technique. Dance has been a part of my life and has laid a strong foundation for my motivation, organization and commitment.”
Kaitlynn McCrackin graduated in 2016 from Grand Valley State University with a double major in Human Resources and Marketing and a Dance minor. Kaitlynn joined the Laker Dance Team and won back to back National Championships in 2015 and 2016. Kaitlynn also participated in other dance related clubs creating choreography for football and basketball games and different dance groups on campus. She created choreography for multiple high school dance teams as well. She is also a 2012 DDD alumnus and is returning to judge for the first time. “I am excited to be back as a judge. I am also excited for all of the girls who are participating. When auditioning, it is always a learning experience regardless if you make it or not. I am really hoping that the dancer bring it into the audition. They need to show me what they have and entertain me, all while having fun.”
Melissa Greve is a 2010 DDD alumnus and attended Northwood University. Melissa is currently teaching at Bohaty’s School of Dance and is their competition team director. She is also Cecchetti Method certified through Grade III and has been teaching for eight years. This past year she was able to send ballet students under her name to be tested in the Cecchetti Method. This is her second time appearing as a judge at DDD. “I find it very interesting to be on the other side of the table. I remember being nervous when I was auditioning, and now I get to see them work through their nervousness. I want to see performance from the dancers. I want their personalities to shine through and for them to enjoy the moment.”