Thursday, February 10, 2011


It's been a week since my last post, but trust me, good things are worth waiting for!  Today my SPOTLIGHT is on a wonderful talented lady named Avital Asuleen who is currently teaching beginning theatre dance classes at Liberated Movement.  If you are smart, you will take her class because boy can this lady audition!:)  And she will help you rock your auditions as well!  She describes here class thus:

A great class for actors, singers who move, or dancers looking to brush up on their acting! This class will begin with a high energy show tune warm up that will stretch, align, and tone the body. We will then move across the floor, working our kicks, turns, and jumps, and will culminate each week with an original center combination.  Combinations will range stylistically from traditional theater through Fosse and Bennett, and will always help you dance with more confidence and style! Open to dancers of any level, although some previous dance experience is suggested but not required. Please wear comfortable clothes, and character shoes, jazz shoes, or jazz sneakers if you have them. Otherwise, bring a pair of socks!

It is taught every other Monday so the next class is February 21.  Mark your calendars NOW!

She was kind enough to create a video for this blog that will give you a tiny sample of her theatre dance class!  Additionally, with it, you can practice learning choreography in your living room!  She rocks.  So without further ado - here is AVITAL!

(P.S. we are all jealous of Avital for how closely she resembles Snow White!)

What is your pursued career? 

Musical theater performer, choreographer, and director. 

What are favorite forms of exercise and why? 

I love hill sprinting for a great total body workout- run up a hill with as much intensity as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 90 seconds, and repeat until you feel like you might die. On a lighter note, I love a great Jazz class, yoga, and Pilates!

What are your favorite classes (in any form of fitness) in the city and what do you love about them? 

I love Randy Skinner's Theater Dance and Tap classes. He's a true genius, and his class packs so much " bang for your buck", so to speak. Also, I love Jody Moccia's Floor barre. It's not a class I get to often anymore, but man, if you want to figure out your alignment, it's the BEST! Both of these classes are at Steps on Broadway. 

What do you do at home or on the road to stay in shape when you can't get to a class or the gym?

I play with my Therabands a lot- these are great stretchy resistance bands that come in all colors/levels. Great to work your feet with! I also enjoy just moving though a series of my favorite stretches, giving myself short ballet barres and I hold a planks (think a pushup position before you go down to the ground), both regularly, then with out one arm and one leg, and then side planks. 

How do you approach a dance/movement audition? 

Honestly, probably a lot like a singer- while I consider myself a strong dancer, dance auditions STILL fill me with anxiety. But, I usually think of the job at the end of it- if I want the job, then I think of the characters in the show, and how I can bring that to the table in the audition room.

What advice would you have for non-dancers in a dance audition?

 Stay grounded, and stay on the beat. Truly gifted dancers take command of the space- and they do this by controlling gravity in ALL directions. You want to focus on looking Solid, even if you can't catch all the steps. So you miss the big tricks- really land the final pose! Think of how a gymnast "sticks" to a mat when they really nail it- try for that, no matter what happened before.

Ditto for the beat- dance on the music, even if that means jumping over every other step! It shows a far greater amount of professionalism than trying to chase the combination. 


And now for the best part!  AVITAL'S VIDEOS!  (all filmed at Steps on Broadway)

Here she is teaching a small section of a beginning theatre dance combination:

And here she is doing the combination full out with music!

And now she breaks down a step ball change - a very important theatre dance step!

I hope you enjoyed Avital's Q&A and videos!  Don't forget to take her class at Liberated Movement!  

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