By Jessica Whitby
I am a pretty horrible dancer, so when my editor asked me to try out for Much Music’s Electric Circus, I was nervous. Yet, when I arrived for my audition I soon found out that not being able to dance was not as important as having the right look.
A friend, who has danced on the show, tells me not to worry. There is one blonde girl on the show who is actually a worse dancer than I am. Every time the camera flashes on her she smiles and bounces her large breasts to the rhythm of the music. She doesn’t move her arms or legs, but the camera loves her because she is well-endowed. I decide that’s going to be my move if I’m stuck for what to do. After all, it obviously worked for her.
It’s Wednesday night and I have arrived at Much Music at 299 Queen St. W.
Every Wednesday and Thursday Electric Circus holds open auditions for its Friday night dance party where performers, DJs and guests shake it to high energy music. For moral support I drag along my equally incompetent friend because I figure I won’t look as bad.
In the Much Music lobby I spot VJ Amanda Walsh, the perky blonde host of Electric Circus, waiting in front of the elevators. Though she doesn’t pick dancers personally, Walsh says EC dancers have “good energy and are not shy. We look for a person’s individual style.”
Walsh’s responses to my questions see calculated. She reminds me of a beauty pageant contestant who has all the answers memorized. That is, until I ask her if the physical appearance of the dancers is important for the show.
Before answering she takes a second to collect her thoughts while looking around the room. She evades my question by grabbing s guy walking past us and quickly asks him what his opinion is. I find out that he is John Paul, one of the two dance coordinators for Electric Circus. Paul’s job is to decide who will be on the show. He is quick to tell me what’s required to get on the show.
“The truth is that if you are unattractive you will have a hard time getting on the show,” he informs me.
“Dancing comes second. You don’t want to look at ugly people.”
He adds that even the dancers with the best moves need help. “If they don’t have the looks then we try to work with their hair and makeup,” he says.
“We don’t make you dance for the audition,” Yasmine Alyas, the second dance coordinator adds. “We can assume you can dance. We basically talk to those auditioning and get a feeling for the potential dancers. We love everyone here.”
I am confuse. Isn’t Electric Circus a dance show? How can she pick the dancers if she only talks to them but doesn’t see them dance?
“The initial Friday is your testing waters and I see how you guys are,” she continues.
“We go through the videotape. We say ‘Oh she needs more help on styling. He needs more help dancing.’”
“Personal style is really important. When I speak to the individual you have to come down banging. We want you to dress mad, crazy, sexy and cool. We love everyone here.”
Alyas explains that the show scouts dancers on the street. “If I see someone whose look I like I will ask them to be on the show even if I didn’t see them dance. We love everyone here.”
But what if the person you scout has the look but not the moves?
“Again everyone has a little dance in them. If you can bounce side to side you’re fine.”
We are told that all new dancers have to check in with security when they arrive on Friday. Once inside, the dancers get their outfits inspected to see if their look suits the show.
Compared to the other contestants, my hooded sweater, tight jeans and stilettos look bland. I can’t help but notice their revealing butt cleavage and the way their breasts and pushed up to their chins. As we wait for the audition to begin, music flows in from the next room. The girls’ breasts take on a life of their own, bouncing back and forth.
“We never knew we had to dress up for the audition. I’m still wearing my school clothes,” I say.
“Don’t worry about it. I can tell that you guys have style. I know that you guys will be fine dancing here this Friday night. By talking to someone I can tell how they dance,” Alyas says right before jotting down our phone numbers.
I can’t believe that I just stood and did nothing during any audition and yet I made the cut. I guess that’s showbiz.