How to become a backup dancer for justin bieber

A Day In the Life of a Justin Bieber Backup Dancer

At 9:50 a.m. on the morning after his 65th Justin Bieber concert, dancer David Shreibman was standing, but just barely. The 27-year-old “Purpose” tour backup b-boy was decked out in full concert merch, wearing a recognizable “Staff” t-shirt. Unlike most people though, he actually is a Bieber employee, and has been dancing for him on-and-off for the past five years.

“My back hurts,” Shreibman said with a laugh. Although this is his first world tour with Bieber, Shreibman is used to the demanding lifestyle of a dancer. He’s been dancing professionally since he was 15-years-old, traveling around the world for breakdancing battles, dancing for the Golden State Warriors, and doing backup for artists like Chris Brown, Gwen Stefani, and Tinashe. In 2014, he was cast in the film “Step Up: All In,” and he’s currently filming a documentary-style series called “The Break Boys,” with Red Bull TV.

Since January, however, Shreibman’s universe has revolved entirely around Justin Bieber. When Shreibman’s not on stage, he’s being bused around with 15 other dancers from arena to arena. And even in his “down time,” he’s playing soccer and wake-boarding with “J.B.” As a result, thousands of screaming girls follow him around as well. The morning after their final U.S. show, Shreibman broke down a day in the life of a Bieber backup dancer.

When did you start dancing? I started break dancing at 10 years old, but both my parents are dancers. My mom was a ballet and jazz teacher but she professionally danced for 10 years. And my dad was a professional pantomime…

What! A mime? Yeah. He started on the East Coast but then went on to train with this famous guy named Marcel Marceau. He was a huge French pantomime. So I grew up around dancing and dancers.

So can you pantomime really well? Me? No. I should be able to. I can fake it.

What was your big break, pun intended. There’s a b-boy community, and I was a little kid who got good at it really fast. My name started getting around the Bay Area. And then I got in one of the bigger crews from San Francisco called The Renegades in 2005. I’d say my big break in the scene though was after I won this big battle in Florida in 2006. It sent me to France to compete in 2007. It was right when YouTube became big, and I think that’s been a big part of my success; I was one of the first young guys to be on YouTube a lot. I’ve been professionally dancing since I was 15.

When did you start dancing for Justin Bieber? I’ve been dancing for Bieber off-and-on for about five years. This is my first tour with him. They didn’t bring b-boys on the “Believe” tour. But for this tour we started rehearsing in January. It was a big decision because tours are such a commitment; they pull you away from life for such a long time. The tour started in March and last night was the last show in the U.S. We did 65 shows. My back hurts! My knees hurt! I’m tired!

Where was your first show? Holy crap, I can’t even remember.

Are you on stage the whole time? Pretty much. He does 19 songs and I’d say I’m in around 13 of them.

What’s it like being on stage in front of all those people? I’m used to arena shows because I did the “Glee Live” tour two years in a row. And then I also danced for the Golden State Warriors when I was 15. But it’s an interesting experience dancing with Bieber because we can’t hear the audience. All you’re hearing is Bieber’s voice and the choreographer talking to us throughout the show. It’s like you’re in your own world. This is the first time I’ve ever done a show like that.

Does that help you dance? To be honest, no. I think a lot of dancing is energy-based and hearing the crowd helps. It’s different for Bieber though because it’s 20,000 screaming girls. It’s like white noise. By the 40th show, you’re like, not trying to hear that much screaming. It’s insane. I took my ears out last night because it was the last show and it was SO loud. When he goes into, “Baby,” it’s crazy. I had to cover my ears.

Do Bieber’s fans find you? Oh my god, yes. Any hotel we’re at. They stalk. They find the dancers and think that Bieber is where the dancers are. They’re everywhere, just lingering. They know our names. They try to give us stuff to give to him. My DM’s are insane: “Please! I traveled all the way from Africa and my car broke down and my mom has cancer.” It’s crazy.

How are you dealing with all that? It sucks because you have to be a dick. You have to ignore them. They don’t care about you; they’re just like, “Where’s Justin!” We’ll have after parties and J.B. will go and we kind of turn into a type of security. The way people act around him isn’t normal. He’s like a zoo animal. They’re zombies.

That’s scary. It’s really scary. I don’t like that side of it. A part of me feels bad for him. He can’t do anything.

Do have a routine before you go on stage every night? Not really. It’s not like a battle where I have to get into this headspace and I’m challenged more creatively. This is more like job. It’s automatic after 65 shows.

Does Bieber have a routine? Yeah, we always do a pre-show prayer. He looks to us for energy, so it’s more about us getting him hype. All the dancers — there are 16 of us — and the band get in a circle and start yelling. He likes doing the “Mighty Ducks” chant: Ducks! Ducks! Ducks! Quack! Quack! Quack!

Have their been any moments on tour when things did not go according to routine? Yes. I had one really scary situation. There are these things under the stage called “toasters,” and at the beginning of every show we get launched from them. Like, literally imagine what a toaster does with bread. It’s this 4′ x 4′ hole that we get shot out of probably around 10-feet in the air. Every night in two different numbers. On those nights when you don’t feel like doing the show, you’re like, “Shit, I gotta get launched right now!” Anyway, one night there was a power failure… Normally, the toaster stays up with you so that you’re not falling 10 feet onto the floor. But on that night, I’m launched, the power dies, and it falls back down. I was in the air, I look down, and there’s literally a hole in the floor. If I hadn’t looked down, who knows what would have happened. But I fell all the way down and luckily, I’m a ninja or something, I don’t know, but I didn’t get hurt. But it was really bad and not cool. I could have gotten really fucked up. It was probably top three scariest things that have ever happened to me.

You’re putting your life on the line every night for the Biebs! Yeah. These stages are like construction sites; you have to be really careful. Things fall out of the sky if someone doesn’t rig it right. There’s a part of the show where we’re suspended on a trampoline 30-feet above everybody. I’m like a circus freak.

Do you ever interact with Bieber off-stage? Yeah, tons. He’s an extremely talented kid. He’s a good kid. And he’s…a kid! He’s 22 and he’s still finding himself like we all are. His life is crazy. He was separated from the world at 10-years-old. He’s really generous. He’s goofy. He likes to play around. Like the other day, Bieber wanted to play soccer. He goes on our buses and wakes us all up like, “We’re going to play soccer!” He takes us to this sporting store and buys us all these jerseys and any cleats we want. Then he divided us into teams. We’ve also gone wake-boarding. He’s cool.

You’re like his friends, in a way. Yeah, I think he respects the dancers and every night he tells us how much he appreciates us. There are a lot of people who’ve been working with him since he was literally a child. It’s a good crew.

Does he inspire you? He’s definitely inspirational, but would I want that life? No. I’ve seen it. And not only with Bieber — I’ve worked with Chris Brown, Gwen Stefani, Tinashe, and all these people and it’s not easy. There’s no school that prepares these kids for this type of stuff. It’s not normal what they deal with. That’s what’s cool about being a professional dancer: I get to live that life, but just for a second.

Are you looking forward to a little break from Bieber before the European tour? I’m just looking forward to not toasting.

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Auditions – BDC Life


Categories Auditions

Unless you live under a rock, your Facebook Timeline has probably been abuzz with dancer-friends uploading their submission videos for Justin Bieber’s #believetourauditions.   That’s right – “the Biebs” is looking for one more (lucky!) dancer to join his “Believe Tour” which will hit the road this September.

Hundreds of hopeful fans have uploaded clips of their best moves, hoping to win the ultimate prize: a live audition for Justin Bieber and (hopefully) a back-up dancing gig!  Submissions began August 3rd and included live auditions in Los Angeles.  But Jon M. Chu, Bieber’s tour director, notes the importance of online auditions: “Justin also has such a huge online component, that’s where he was discovered.”

“We’re only looking for the best dancers in the world…[W]e want to take it to a whole other level,” choreographer Nick DeMoura added in a video posted with Chu on D-Studio about the tour. “It’s gonna be like an epic journey.”

Bieber’s director and choreographer suggested that aspiring dancers look to Michael Jackson for some inspiration, since Justin has been looking to incorporate “the King of Pop’s” movement, magic, and even pyro into the tour.   Look for Michael Jackson influences as you check out these incredible #believetourauditions submissions from our extremely talented BDC students.

[Quotes excerpted from Jocelyn Vena’s article 8/3/12]

Categories Auditions

Bianca Argyros (ISVP ’11)

What team do you dance for?

I dance for the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Why did you decide to audition?

I decided to audition because I wanted to expand my training (as this is more cheeleading) and to gain extra technique.

What was the audition like?

The audition was great, really professional.  We had a dance audition featuring centre work and corner work and then we had an interview.

What is your favorite part about performing for a sports team?

My favorite part about being on the squad is performing at the games, there’s nothing I love better than performing. Also the charity work is great – giving back to the community means so much to me and i feel fantastic afterwards and encourage other to do so too.

Kimberly Hamilton (Professional Semester F’11)

What team do you dance for?

I dance for the Tampa Bay Rain ABA Basketball team.

Why did you decide to audition?

I auditioned because I was looking for a good starting point for a team dance and I knew a few of the girls trying out.

What was the audition like?

The audition process took a few weeks.  We had a 3 hour audition, then some girls were cut and we had 5 training camp sessions after that.  We learned routines and ran practice like usual and performed them in front of a second set of judges.  We were also weighed, measured, and given personal goals before we are allowed to perform.

What is your favorite part about performing for a sports team?

I love dancing with a sports team because of all the energy in the gym.  It’s always so much fun even when you’re not dancing. I’ve been on some type of dance team most of my life – having that group and support system is such a great experience!

Categories Auditions

Hear about two of BDC’s Professional Semester Alumni who recently signed with two of the top talent agencies in New York City.  Congratulations, Nikki and Matt!  We’re so proud of you!

Nikki Croker – MSA Agency

Why did you choose to go to the audition?

I chose to go to the MSA open call because it has been the agency that I’ve been looking to sign with since moving to New York. They have a lot of really skilled, talented performers and choreographers signed with them, including some of  my favourite choreographers – Al Blackstone, Josh Bergasse, Derek Mitchell, and Maria Torres. 

How did you prepare for the audition?

I trained really hard all last year taking classes in a variety of styles including Ballet, Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Latin Jazz, Gymnastics, Voice and Acting. I completed the Fall Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center in which we completed 12 classes a week and had helpful seminars regarding headshots and resumes, nutrition, and mock auditions for all different styles. I received a vast amount feedback from this semester that helped me grow tremendously! 

What was the audition environment like?

The audition was at Pearl Studios. There were hundreds of people!  We lined up to get our numbers and you could either audition for ‘commercial’ or ‘theatre’. I decided to audition for both so I was there from about 11am-6. 30pm. We learned each combination in about 15 minutes and then performed it in small groups of 5. For the theatre audition we also had to sing a 16 bar cut. 

How did you feel the audition went?

I felt good about the audition –  I had met Lucille at Josh Bergasse’s Music Theatre Summer Program and also at a Professional Semester mock audition, which eased my nerves a little. I had prepared the best way I could before the audition and knew that I gave my best, no matter the outcome.

When did you receive the call?

 I received the call about 10 days later. I was puppy-sitting at the time and I was playing with the dog Captain when my phone started ringing. I don’t think I’ll forget the day – I was so excited!

Matt Tremblay – Bloc/NYC Agency

Why did you choose to go to the audition?

I chose to go to the audition for the experience. Auditions are a perfect learning atmosphere to figure out your strengths and weaknesses in order to move forward.

How did you prepare for the audition?

I did my research on which choreographers the agency represents because I knew some of them would be teaching the audition combinations. I was sure to hit the gym and take class a lot prior to the audition.  I also did a lot of positive-thinking and reflecting to be mentally ready.

What was the audition environment like?

The studios were packed with dancers! We were typed cast right away.  I felt like it was quite competitive in there until we got to the last few cuts; After a long day, the atmosphere became more supportive.

How did you feel the audition went?

I felt extremly hyped and full of energy all day. As the day went by and I was asked to stay, I surprisingly become more relaxed! This completely shoked me, but I realized that it was just a matter of giving everything I have and hoping for the best.

When did you receive the call?

I was informed 5 days later, Friday at 5:30pm.  I remember the entire conversation!  That was the longest 5 days of my life!  I was so happy and I couldn’t believe it at first. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a dream until I signed my contract and I heard “Welcome to Bloc.”

Categories Auditions

You’ve been training hard in all of your classes at BDC and now you’re ready to start auditioning! But where do you begin?

Here we’ll help familiarize you with a few of the main casting call websites so you can get out there and audition!

  • $14.95/month (or you can purchase a weekly newspaper publication of Backstage)
  • auditions~musical theater, straight theater, cruise lines, theme parks, music video, commercials, TV/film, etc., search by field or location
  • online access to job listings, unlimited online submissions, individual profile (headshot, resume, reel, etc. ), database of directors/agents/etc.

Answers 4 Dancers

  • $8.33/month
  • auditions~music video, musical theater, cruise lines, theme parks, special events
  • online access to job listings (performer, choreographer, and teacher gigs worldwide) and agent auditions, individual profile, insider info (how-to create a resume, reel, etc.)

Playbill (Casting/Jobs)

  • FREE!
  • auditions~musical theater, straight theater, cruise lines, etc.
  • job postings (performers, arts administrators, interns, directors, teachers, etc.)

Casting Networks

  • $25/month (basic membership)
  • auditions~principal and extra roles
  • online access to job listings, individual profile, individual profile, database of photographers and demo reel creators, directories (agencies, casting directors, managers), online job submission

Actors Access

  • Free registration (but $2 per online submission)
  • auditions~straight theater, short films, feature films, music videos, “webisodes,” industrials, commercials
  • online access to job listings, individual profile, online submissions for jobs ($2 per submission)

Dance NYC

  • FREE!
  • job postings (auditions, internships, choreography opportunities, volunteering)
  • auditions~concert dance/company auditions
  • *specific to jobs and opportunities in New York City

Idol for all occasions - Newspaper Kommersant No.

76 (5108) of 05/06/2013

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Justin Bieber's Moscow concert confirmed that the singer is able to make any teenage girl happy with his voice and appearance

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

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Justin Bieber's Moscow concert confirmed that the singer is able to make any teenage girl happy with his voice and appearance

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A photo: Kommersant / Petr Kassin

A concert of Justin Bieber, the most popular singer among girls of middle school age, took place in the Olimpiyskiy sports complex. MARIA SEMENDYAEVA figured out why the fans love the Canadian performer.

For the first concert of Justin Bieber in Moscow, his metropolitan fans prepared thoroughly. In the Vkontakte group dedicated to the concert, they exchanged views on, for example, whether it would be possible to pour confetti at the concert. And they certainly agreed that the main task for Moscow fans is to show the idol as much love as possible, which, in their opinion, he did not receive at the concert that happened the day before in St. Petersburg.

The initiative group even prepared a special memo titled "Hi flashmober!", detailing how fans should honor Justin Bieber: "...on the song Boyfriend we will sing out loud NANANA! NANANA! NANANA! .. On the song Believe we will raise everything posters. Sign JELIEBERS FOREVER. Posters will be handed out to you before the concert."

The posters were indeed delivered to their intended destination - but the fans violated the coherent plan of the flash mob and waved them on all the songs in a row, and in addition, used them as seating pads. Most of Justin Bieber's fans at the Olimpiysky were even younger than himself - the singer, who began his career at 13, turned 19 this year. Some girls came to the concert on their own, others were brought by their parents, you could even see whole families who gathered "at Bieber" to celebrate the beginning of the May holidays. However, the parents at this concert did not feel their usual power and behaved somewhat stiffly, surrounded by thousands of excited teenagers who began to scream deafeningly at the slightest movement on the stage.

Justin Bieber was supported by the Russian pop singer Roma Acorn, although it was largely unnecessary to warm up this crowd. Having played their short program, Roma Acorn and his backup dancers wished the fans: "Waiting for Justin!" - and retired backstage, and the hall plunged into nervous expectation for an hour. At some point, a stern voice over the speakerphone called on the girls raging in the fan zone to take three steps back and under no circumstances throw anything on the stage. The warning was not out of place, since they threw red lace underpants onto the stage even for the not so beloved Roma Acorn. But if in the hands of a domestic singer this wardrobe detail looked quite appropriate, then in the show that Justin Bieber showed to fans, red women's underpants would look about the same as hanging from a birthday cake at a children's birthday party.

After an hour of waiting, under incessant screams, Justin Bieber descended on the stage on huge iron wings, all in white and sunglasses. The concert began with the song "All Around The World" - a hit from the album "Believe", in support of which the singer is touring Europe. The show was performed brilliantly - several screens were installed on the stage, which broadcast a concert video sequence, including the singer's family archival records; under the ceiling, at a safe distance, pyrotechnic charges exploded, and Justin Bieber either jumped onto the stage from somewhere below, surrounded by a muscular backing dancer, or climbed onto a special crane, previously fastened with a safety cable, and sang to distraught fans from under the arch of the "Olympic ". He sang that each of them is beautiful, and that each of them is important, and each should believe in herself and be sure that if Justin was her boyfriend, he would never let her go. A free translation is not able to convey the magic that these seemingly simple words acquire, put into the mouth of a well-built handsome man who, like a real stripper, bares his muscular shoulder in front of the fans and at the same time sings: "All over the world, people want their loved." Unlike the same Roma Acorn, singing phrases like "like me", thereby confirming Bieber's guess about human nature, the idol of millions Justin turns lust into a bright and pure dream.

What red underpants are there when, for the song "One Less Lonely Girl", he pulled some lucky girl onto the stage, seated her on a shiny throne like a princess, and sang the whole song only for her, and then took her by the arm backstage. What lust is there when, for the song "Baby" (the video for which, by the way, is more popular on YouTube than Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video), Bieber brought to the stage a seven-year-old girl sobbing with happiness, who had the coat of arms of Canada on her hat - his native country. This sentimental scene seemed perfectly choreographed, but if Justin Bieber played, it was only the role of a kind magician who gives little girls faith in themselves, hope for his attention and, of course, love.

A couple of weeks ago, the news spread around the world that Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and wrote in the guest book: "Anna was a wonderful girl, I would like to believe that she could become my fan" (literally - "became would be a biliber"). The young singer, of course, for such disrespect and blasphemy flew terribly, and rightly so. But after Justin Bieber's concert, you understand how much he himself believes that he gives his fans real happiness. And one more thing - that absolutely any girl could find many reasons to fall in love with this singer.

Justin Bieber paralyzed part of his face due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome - RBC


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Singer Justin Bieber said that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome - the artist paralyzed part of his face. Due to illness, he was forced to cancel a number of concerts of his world tour. He published a video message on his Instagram page (owned by the Meta organization, recognized as extremist in Russia).

“You can probably see from my face that something is wrong with me. I have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. The virus attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and causes facial paralysis,” he said, noting that he did not know how long the recovery would take.

Bieber revealed that due to health issues, he had to postpone his seven-stage, 130-day Justice World Tour. “I can't believe I'm saying this. I did everything to get better, but my illness is getting worse, ”concluded the 28-year-old pop singer.

According to the Daily Mail, citing data from the Mayo Clinic, the disease is a complication of herpes zoster that can lead to facial paralysis. Hearing loss and facial paralysis associated with Ramsay Hunt syndrome are temporary, but can become permanent, doctors said.

Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop-R&B artist who rose to fame after his self-composed "One Time" went viral on YouTube in 2009. In the same year, Bieber's first mini-album called "My world" was released. The track list of the disc consisted of seven songs and soon received the status of platinum in the US and Canada, as well as gold in the countries of Oceania. In 2010, he was awarded the American Music Awards for Artist of the Year, and won the Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist categories at the Grammy Awards.

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