Last February, I got the opportunity to perform in the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show with Rihanna as one of her Super Bowl dancers. Ever since I was a little girl, I always imagined what it would be like to dance professionally in the industry — and this experience left me wanting more. It gave me a taste of what I want my life to be like as a professional dancer. This opportunity has already opened so many doors for me as an artist, and I cannot wait to continue learning and growing as a dancer in the industry. In this article, I will share with you my experience of being selected as a halftime show dancer.
In This Article:
- Auditioning and Selection Process for Super Bowl Dancers
- Rehearsals for Super Bowl Halftime Dancers
- Performing in the Super Bowl Halftime Show
Auditioning and Selection Process for Super Bowl Dancers
In December 2022, the casting agents associated with the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show reached out to local Arizona colleges, universities and professional dance studios, seeking talented halftime show dancers. Eligible candidates received a link to complete a virtual audition.
Before learning any of the choreography, we were prompted to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in which we pledged not to share any details of the audition, process or performance with anyone — not even our families or closest friends. The casting agents and production company took this confidentiality very seriously because the Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of the most watched events worldwide. They wanted to ensure their cast was upholding the same standard to avoid ruining the surprise of the show.
Once I signed my NDA, I was able to watch and learn the audition choreography and film myself performing the combination. After submitting my audition tape via a private link online, I anxiously awaited the results of my audition for about two weeks before learning that I had been selected as a halftime show dancer. I knew the fate of the selection process was in God’s hands. Overall, I remained calm for most of the audition and selection process, but there were most definitely nerves that went along with potentially getting selected for one of the biggest opportunities of my life.
Rehearsals for Super Bowl Halftime Dancers
Once we found out about the casting decisions, we were almost immediately sent into rehearsals. Starting in late January, we began learning choreography, attending wardrobe fittings and holding rehearsals to ensure that we were 100% ready to perform in the halftime show. The field cast had approximately 200 dancers in it, so we started our first rehearsal over Zoom to learn and clean the choreography.
We were sent our choreography a few hours before the rehearsal to learn on our own, so we were better prepared when going into the Zoom rehearsal. Rihanna’s core dancers were cast in Los Angeles and had started the rehearsal process before the audition call for field dancers. They rehearsed for months and were the main dancers you saw throughout the performance on television. It was a full-circle moment for me, getting to dance with some of my dearest friends and inspirations dancing alongside me — not only on the stage and platforms but also on the field.
The dance set I learned for the halftime show was roughly four minutes long. After our initial rehearsal over Zoom, we continued to meet in person on a practice field at the State Farm Stadium Compound for approximately two weeks. Our rehearsal director prepared us for what it would be like performing in front of millions of people, as well as how to better perform to the many cameras.
We rehearsed at the practice complex for most of the rehearsals and then moved into the stadium to rehearse the week of the show. Rihanna joined us for a few of those rehearsals so we could see how the show was laid out, as well as calm any nerves and jitters about performing with a star like her. Before the show, we had two dress rehearsals in full costume, and then it was showtime.
Performing in the Super Bowl Halftime Show
Performing in the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show was an absolute dream. The casting crew and directors were so kind to us throughout the process and aided in such a smooth show. On the day of the performance, we had to get ready in a separate stadium where we fueled up for the show, got into wardrobe, rehearsed a few times and then headed to the stadium for the halftime performance. Performing on the field was so surreal and honestly felt like a blur. The adrenaline and excitement propelled me through the performance and I am so grateful to have been a part of making history.
After the performance was over, we walked back to our complex filled with joy. On our walk back, we were being approached by people asking to take pictures with us, meet and greet us, and media like TMZ were asking for interviews. We truly felt like celebrities. It was a joyful experience and I pray I get the opportunity to perform in something like that again.
After reflecting on the wonderful opportunity of performing in the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, I would say that my biggest takeaway is that anything can happen when you remain faithful. I have worked so hard and trained consistently over the past 16 years for an opportunity like this — and it paid off. I learned so much throughout this experience, including what the industry is like and what it means to be a professional dancer getting paid to do what I love. This experience helped inform what I want to do after college with my dance career. As dance artists, we must keep our hearts and minds open to anything because the most beautiful opportunities may come when we least expect them.
Because of this opportunity, I did have to take two weeks off school, but it was so wonderful because our professors were accommodating and willing to work with us throughout this process, which was so helpful. I needed to stay on top of my studies so that I didn’t fall behind in my classes. I can’t help but thank God, my family, friends, mentors and teachers for helping me get to where I am today and for pushing me to never give up on my dreams. If you believe it, you can do it. For anyone out there who wants to pursue a career in the dance industry, consider Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor’s Degree in Dance.
Approved by the director of dance of the College of Arts and Media on Jan. 16, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.