Woman’s Big Audition Is Interrupted By An Unlikely Scene

For most of us, the idea of bringing your kid to work is no real problem. You grab them a soda, give them some office supplies to play with, and you’re all set. But for parents with unconventional jobs, a child in the workplace can be a total disaster.

When this Texas mom got a shot at stardom, she planned for weeks for the big day. For all her preparation, however, she never could’ve predicted what her kids would do during the life-defining moment…

Back in 2012, Bree Hafen spent most of her days looking after her family. Between her five-year-old Luke and her two-year-old Stella, she had her hands full. However, being a mom wasn’t Bree’s only passion…

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

You see, Bree also happened to be a world-class dancer. Ever since she was a child, she pursued this passion with heart and soul, and really felt physically connected to the music. She even began branching out and choreographing her own pieces.

breehafen.com

Make no mistake — dancing was no mere hobby for Bree. She toured around the world with Disney for several years, and she spent a season as a dancer and choreographer for the Utah Jazz. Her future looked like a slam dunk.

Salt Lake Tribune / Chris Detrick

But Bree never mustered the courage to really pursue a big break. After having a couple of kids, she expected to put her dance ambitions aside for a while, but a curious thing happened: the strains of motherhood actually made Bree more confident in herself.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

So when auditions came up for the ninth season of the reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance, Bree knew what she had to do. She applied for a spot, hoping her professional background and mom-comeback story would get her on the show.

FOX / Jeffrey Neira

It worked! Bree could hardly believe it. The next several weeks, she trained harder than ever before and put together a routine that would hopefully dazzle the judges. Although Bree started experiencing some unfamiliar pain in her joins, she pushed on.

YouTube / Bree Hafen Choreography

Her audition date arrived in no time at all. Bree flew out to Las Vegas. She had danced on big stages before, sure, but So You Think You Can Dance was an entirely different animal. Was Bree ready for national television?

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

Before Bree dove into her routine, the judges said they were interested in meeting her children. Since Bree’s entire family was in the audience, show creator Nigel Lythgoe invited Luke and Stella up on stage. They didn’t disappoint.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

After taking a chair at the judges’ table for the best seat in the house, they exchanged high fives and answered a couple questions about dancing. Right before the judges asked Bree to begin, Luke shouted out, “Mom, I love you!”

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

Any doubts in Bree’s mind evaporated at that moment. She broke out into an incredibly fluid and expressive dance that elicited praise from the crowd and judges alike. Nigel whispered in Luke’s ear and handed him something underneath the table. 

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

Right in the middle of Bree’s once-in-a-lifetime audition, her son jumped on stage and approached her. The cameras swiveled over to follow him. It looked like he inadvertently spoiled her big chance! He reached out to his mom and offered her a piece of paper.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

It was a ticket to the next round in Los Angeles! Bree hugged Stella and thanked the judges for the opportunity, but Nigel said he wasn’t done with them yet. Bree didn’t know what to think; she couldn’t recall a contestant being asked to stick around for so long.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

But Nigel brought up a comment Bree made a couple minutes before about Stella developing into quite the dancer herself. Curious to see if Bree was true to her word, Nigel requested that the tech crew play some ballet music over the loudspeaker.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

Stella picked up on it without missing a beat. She twirled, kicked, and leaped her way across the stage. Not only did she perform extremely well for a two-year-old, but she put together the steps on the spot!

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

As the little girl dropped to the ground and struck a dramatic pose, the entire room went wild. Stella’s dad and brother applauded from their seats, while Bree wiped away tears. In just a couple of minutes, Bree proved she was a fantastic dancer and mom.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

While Stella wasn’t an official contestant, she sure made an impression on the show. Nigel extended his arms to the sky as if he just witnessed a miracle from heaven. Mary Murphy — one of the other judges — began to cry. Stella wondered if this moment would launch her to stardom.

YouTube / Pedro Lamas de Oliveira

However, the pain from Bree’s training continued to the point where she had to consult a doctor. He shared a bleak diagnosis: long-term injuries to Bree’s hip and shoulder. Bree did not make it through to the next round of competition. But that was not the end.

With more belief in herself than ever, Bree opened her own dance school and choreographed more and more routines for other performers. She clearly had a knack for instilling girls with a love of dance, just like she did with Stella.

breehafen.com

Through it all, Bree always set aside plenty of time to be a mom, too. She provided Luke and Stella with everything they needed and blessed them with a couple more siblings. Within a few years, maybe they’d have their own family dance troupe.

Facebook / Bree Hafen Choreography

Hard work and dedication to family paid off for another mom, too; Tanna Marino of Cypress, Texas, was a mother to four children and the wife of a firefighter. She was a small-town girl, and her family was the most important thing in her life.

She worked long hours as an appliance technician at a repair and maintenance company called Mr. Appliance. She liked her job, but money was always tight, and she wasn’t able to spend nearly enough time with her children. Then, one day she received an unusual phone call…

On the other end of the phone was a television scout asking Tanna if she’d like to star in a reality television show pilot. Tanna was stunned at the proposal, and even after asking for details of the show, she was still on the fence…

The scout didn’t reveal much about the show other than the fact it was called Don’t Quit Your Day Job. After weighing the pros and cons, Tanna figured this might be a chance to earn some extra income the family very much needed.

Tanna agreed to do the show, and when she showed up for filming on the first day, she met the camera crew who was going to follow her around while she went about her business. She was also to train a new employee named Faith Brown.


To Tanna, Faith came across as someone who normally worked an office job. She was wearing thick makeup, jewelry, and long acrylic nails. Even though she was dressed slightly out of character for a such a hands-on job, Tanna welcomed her aboard.

It was immediately apparent Faith didn’t have much experience in the field, but Tanna was patient and walked her through her routine. The cameras rolled the whole time, and Tanna concluded the reality show was about training odd new hires.

For several days, the two women made house calls together, and Tanna explained to Faith how to handle every issue. Faith and Tanna were getting along great, and Tanna even brought Faith to her house one afternoon to meet her family.

Faith met all four of Tanna’s kids, as well as her husband Michael. Faith was so touched by how welcoming every member of the family was, but after the delightful evening, Tanna admitted to Faith something very personal.

She confided in Faith that even though she and Michael had jobs, money was incredibly tight. She would more than likely need to get a second job for supplemental income. This would mean spending even more time away from her kids. This broke Faith’s heart.

Hearing Tanna’s struggle to stay active in her children’s lives brought up memories of Faith’s own father who was significantly absent in her life, as well. Now, it was finally time for the mother of four to know exactly what the reality show was about.


After Don’t Quit Your Day Job wrapped up the employee training part of the show, the crew told Tanna she’d be visiting Faith’s home for the final segment. However, when Tanna showed up later that afternoon, Faith had short blonde hair — and looked completely different.

She introduced herself as Dina Dwyer-Owens, the CEO of the corporation that owns Mr. Appliance! She had spent the last several days in disguise alongside Tanna, learning from her and finding out what life was like on the front lines of the job.

The television crew informed Tanna there was no show called Don’t Quit Your Day Job. It was actually a show called Undercover Boss, where bosses worked alongside their employees while incognito to learn about what day-to-day life was like.

Dina was impressed by Tanna’s work ethic, so first, the CEO granted Tanna $5,000 to spearhead a “Women in the Trades” program to assist women who were learning a trade.

Next, Dina set up a $10,000 scholarship fund so Tanna and Michael could start saving for their children’s college education. Tanna was in tears at Dina’s generosity, but that wasn’t even the biggest shock…

As Tanna was choking back tears, the CEO presented the mother with one more gift: a check for $25,000! Tanna was so shocked she nearly fainted! Dina said the money was a personal gift from her.

The whole reason Dina was interested in appearing on Undercover Boss was so she could explore the inner workings of the company as a regular employee and not as the boss. Luckily, Tanna exemplified all of the qualities Dina was looking for in an employee, and she rewarded her for all of them!

It must have been such an interesting experience for both women during the course of filming. Dina was able to see how Mr. Appliance operated from a completely different perspective, and Tanna was able to help a “new employee” gain valuable experience!

Even though Stella didn’t win the entire competition, her dramatic moment in the spotlight gave her family one of the happiest moments of their lives. And if you’re interested in checking out Bree’s and Stella’s full dance performances, just check out the video below!

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