Capital Funk Dance Auditions Sunday, September 5th

Capital Funk hip hop dance team is holding auditions this Sunday, September 5th. Third year veteran Brad Sickels took the time to tell danceDC a little bit more about the group and what dancers can expect from Sunday’s auditions.

According to Brad, Capital Funk has been one of the most enriching experiences of his life and practicing with the team is always the highlight of his day. “It’s great to be part of a well-respected and FUN team that is really making a name for itself in the East Coast dance scene,” he said.

Who is Capital Funk?

Capital Funk is a group of extremely talented, dedicated and off-the-wall dancers. “Cfunk” as we call it is a giant family and anyone who joins is immediately adopted into that family whether they like it or not.

Capital Funk was created by a group of George Washington University students and is based at GW. However over the years, the team has opened its doors to the amazing talent of the DC community. Our team is now made up of about half GW students and half DC/MD/NOVA locals, which makes for quite the interesting dynamic. We perform frequently in the GW arena but have successfully branched out into the greater DC area. We also travel to compete all over the East Coast.

What type of dance do you do?

We’ve got so many talented individuals on the team whose styles range from botting and locking, to vogue, Baltimore club and house.We try and keep things fresh and evolving and it’s always been important to us to encompass different dance styles and techniques.

What dance background do most of your members have?

Everyone on our team is so incredibly different. For instance, there are several members on the team who are classically trained in modern and ballet and have been dancing since they could walk. We have dancers who have been doing hip hop for years, and have trained with amazing choreographers and instructors. But then, you have people on the team like me whose first time ever officially doing hip hop was at the Capital Funk audition. Capital Funk is unique in that we don’t ask for a dance resume at our auditions. We don’t require extensive training. We value talented dancers who are passionate about dance and our leaders realize that can come in ANY shape or form. We value diversity in every meaning of the word.

Where and how often do you perform?

Traditionally, our Fall season is comprised of local performances. These can include GW basketball games and events, local universities’ talent showcases/competitions, and promotional events. We spend a lot of the Fall term training, learning and growing together as a team.

Our Spring semester has traditionally been our competition season. In the past we’ve done two to three major competitions in the Spring, traveling to Boston, New York and New Jersey. We also hold our annual Showcase at the end of the Spring season. For this Showcase, we invite local dance crews and artists, as well as talent from other East Coast cities. Our Showcase has been very successful, bringing in a crowd of over a thousand last year.

Where and how often do you rehearse?

We hold regular practice two to three times weekly at a variety of locations. We rehearse at GW and also at DC Dance Collective in Friendship Heights.

What can people expect from the auditions?

They can expect to have a lot of fun! Auditionees will learn two combinations from different choreographers, and then perform them in small groups for the captains. Each group will include at least one Capital Funk member so you can ask for help and rehearse with them.  We then have an informal freestyle cypher, where dancers are given the opportunity to show off their own styles.

Any words of advice for people trying out?

I’d say take a class or two just to fine-tune your pickup. The best way to progress as a dancer is to be constantly learning. Joy of Motion has some pretty tight classes and DC Dance Collective offers a few varieties of hip hop.  Maybe spend a little time with your headphones in just free-styling. Our auditions are fun so be ready to have a good time!

The Deets

  • Capital Funk
  • Fall Dance Auditions
  • The Marvin Center Grand Ballroom – 800 21st Street NW; Washington, DC 20052
  • Sunday, September 5th at 6:30pm
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DCypher Dance Auditions at Joy of Motion Friendship Heights

After dropping by Lounge 201 for nGAGE DC, I hopped on the Red Line at Union Station and made it just in time for the DCypher dance auditions at Joy of Motion Friendship Heights.  This studio is just south of the Friendship Heights Metro station.  Walk toward the Jennifer Street exit, take the elevators up to street level, go right and walk a couple blocks south on Wisconsin.  The studio will be on the other side of the street in the same building as Chevy Chase Ballroom.

I was still in work clothes, but there was a small changing area where I could put on my sweats and sneaks.  The girl at the front desk gave me a short form to fill out and handed me a cloth number to safety pin on.  The waiting area was tight so I hung out in the hallway and read some of the fliers hanging up on the bulletin board.

The audition started with a warm up by DCypher’s founder Juli Calderon.  After some stretching and intense sit ups, Juli went into the combination.  She chose a great song ‘The Garden’ by Mirah.  If you don’t know this song, download that ish on iTunes stat!  The choreo wasn’t complicated but gave a lot of room to show your own personality with several freestyle hits.

We did the combination in two groups a few times before breaking into smaller groups of four.  Each small group went a couple times, then the judges called out individual numbers to see again.  At the end, we had a cipher where dancers could show off their other dance talents including breaking, jazz, tap and booty popping.

If you’ve never been to a dance audition, I definitely recommend it.  It’s a great way to challenge yourself as you need to perform for the panel of judges.  It’s also a free class as companies usually don’t charge for auditions.  A couple more auditions are coming up soon so stay tuned for the details.  Keep dancing!

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