Dani Reales (L) with Vanguard
drum major Ronny Sunnaa
Dani Reales, 21 Mandarins Color Guard, 2006 & Santa Clara Vanguard Color Guard, 2007-2009 How did you choose your corps? I chose the Mandarins because my high school color guard director was color guard director there as well. I always knew that I wanted to march with Santa Clara Vanguard ever since I saw them perform in 2004 during the DCI Tour of Champions in California. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? Always be sure to read through all of the information a corps gives you. If they have forms to fill out, try to take care of that before you arrive at the audition so the check-in/registration goes as smoothly as possible for you. For color guard members, being confident is your best tool for getting prepared. What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend? Expect to be given LOTS of information. More than likely the technique you will be taught will be different from what you have learned or have been practicing up to that point, so you must be willing to adapt and try new things. You can also expect to move through rehearsal at a very fast pace and learn the audition pieces quickly. The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? Not especially. I figured that it would be based on a generic formula for learning phrases and performing them in groups for the staff. Were you nervous at your audition? I was very nervous at my first audition. I went to the auditions with friends and it helped to see their familiar faces. Also, just knowing that I made it through the audition weekend is an accomplishment because some people get intimidated and leave after the first day when they let their nerves get the best of them. What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? Have pride that you actually went to and made it through the audition weekend. So many people don't even give it a shot, so trying is something you can pat yourself on the back for. Every time you put yourself outside of your comfort zone, you learn more about yourself and your character. Also, I hope that you take time to make some new friends that you will hopefully see more of come summer. Any other advice? Coming to the auditions with an open mind and tons of confidence is one of the best ways to get the staff's attention. Try to be in the middle of the block for dance so you have someone to watch in all directions when learning the exercises. When learning new phrases, I personally know I have to be close to the front in order to focus the best. Finally, when performing in groups, don't shy away and hide in the back or sides. You are a performer and should thrive being in the spotlight! Soak it up and shine! Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.