I’m currently waiting with my teammates to perform for the “Rebellion” Fashion Event in Clarksville, Maryland, my fourth and final time dancing for the day. This last perfomance is in front of a fashion forward audience interested in shoulder pads and oversized hoodies, but the first three times were for a much more different crowd – let’s say about three video cameras, five judges, and 200 talented hopefuls waiting to audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
We left for the Walter E. Convention Center bright and early at 8:30AM for our appointment at 10:00AM. The drive there was a little hectic, as always in NoVA, but our enthusiasm helped us focus on our destination. Luckily we were a cued group so we didn’t have to wait in the long line facing us upon arrival. We were told to wait in a number of holding areas, during which I saw Nicki Minaj-like purple unitards paired with five-inch platform heels, pink onesies, and pajamas with animal slipper tap shoes strutting past us.
After some nice long stretches and our traditional UK 101 cheer, we were led to a room with one judge. Cina gracefully introduced us and we performed our routine showcasing some choreography and our new team member Tri’s b-boy moves. With three days of practice, we thought the routine turned out pretty well but had little confidence in advancing any furher. Just when we thought we were finished here and ready to celebrate our attempt with much needed Chipotle, UK 101 was asked to perform in front of another group of producers. In our head we thought, “so is this a good thing?” After it sunk in that we passed the bare minimum preliminary round, we encouraged each other to do our absolute best because this was “the real thing.” While we waited we cheered on other contestants and vice versa, knowing that everyone was in the same position with no need to feel competitive.
Our next performance was in front of four producers and two cameras filming our act. We felt a lot better about this second one because we knew how to organize what to say for our introduction, and having more people watching helped us get more excited.
More waiting around and then we were taken to a room full of dancers, singers, supporting moms and siblings. I thought it was a common area for people who made it to the next round. Turns out these people were still waiting for their turn to even appear for the judges. We were asked to be filmed for our routine to look like we were practicing (possibly and hopefully for TV footage). And so ends our first and hopefully not our last day in the process of auditioning for the next season of America’s Got Talent. We dashed for our well-deserved Chipotle and sat on the lovelys steps of the National Portrait Gallery accompanied by the lingering birds.
To me it doesn’t matter if we don’t make it past this audition because I had so much fun with my team and everything turned out really well. We accomplished so much in so little time, and everyone involved was dedicated to what we were trying to achieve. It made me appreciate UK 101 much more and allowed me to reflect on how the people I’m surrounded by greatly impacts my personal look on life. This entire weekend I felt motivated to work extra hard for our team because I knew that everyone else had the same mindset. It made me grateful for having the right people at the right time sharing what I love in the right place.