By Margaret Pepe
Brooke Eversman, a sophomore Psychology major, and member of the LIU Post dance team, has just received the offer of a lifetime. Eversman has been asked to join the Universal Dance Association (UDA) as an instructor, an opportunity not many get to experience.
The UDA started off as one dance summer camp, but has grown to host several camps for high school and college dance teams. It has also been featured on ESPN and the members participate in fundraising events. The UDA dance camps also qualify dance teams for their national championship competitions during the year, which the LIU Post dance team recently attended.
“Dance affects my life in so many great ways. It isn’t just a hobby for me; it’s a life style,” Eversman said. “I schedule my life around dance because it is a major priority next to school. It is a way to relieve myself from stress and it’s a beautiful passion. I guess in simpler terms, dance is my outlet, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.”
Eversman said that it isn’t common for someone of her age to be chosen to work for the UDA. “They have an image they like to maintain with their dancers, however, UDA is always looking for young eager dancers to represent them in a positive way.” In order to be considered for a job by the UDA, individuals have to be over the age of 18, a high school graduate, and have extensive dance experience. LIU Post dance team coach Chris Pitsicalis elaborated, “It’s a pretty competitive job, to be honest. They have instructors from dance teams all around the country but only a few from each state.”
In order to receive an audition by the UDA, applicants must apply online. If given the opportunity to audition, applicants must be able to attend training, and must be willing to teach summer classes.
“I never expected to be chosen to audition, but after I did it was very clear why. The UDA is looking for dancers with a fun personality and a strong passion for dancing, which I have,” Eversman said.
“I pretty much knew she had it in the bag,” Pitsicalis said, “I knew she was going to make it.”
There were multiple parts to the audition process. Everyone auditioning first had to learn a “demo” routine, and perform it in groups of three to display their level of skill and ability to quickly retain dance routines. Following this, all participants had to teach prepared routines to other dancers to prove they would be suitable in a teaching position. To prove their level of skill, Eversman, and others auditioning, had to perform certain dance routines. Finally, each participant is interviewed on why they want to be part of the UDA staff. Eversman, who is currently 19, has been dancing for 17 years, and loves jazz and contemporary style dancing.
Eversman is very excited for the chance she has been given, and the opportunities the UDA offers. “UDA is like my first step into the real dance career world,” she said. Eversman elaborated that she chose to be a psychology major over a dance major so she would not have any restrictions on her dance career.
“Starting in late May, I will begin my traveling to Chicago for my week long training session and from then on I will be traveling all summer long performing, judging, and critiquing dance teams around the Northeast,” Eversman explained.
While she is currently set to work with the UDA this summer, it is more than just a normal summer job. If Eversman should decide to stay with the UDA, she could travel internationally with the UDA in years to come. “The UDA is an amazing opportunity to bring out the best in dancers, and to explore a nationwide dance community,” Eversman said.