The Rehearsal Process

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More than performing live on stage or seeing what I created on stage, I love the rehearsal process in making a dance. Now, I’m not thinking so hunkered down in really intellectual and profound meanings and concepts when I speak about the rehearsal process, I just mean being in the studio and communicating with the dancers as a choreographer or vice-versa. The dialogue that takes place during that time is so rich if the process is similar to how Azure Barton’s was for LIFT.

The video explains so well what I love about being a dancer that I thought I’d help share this little gem of how rehearsal processes can take place, because there are many ways a dance can be created but this intent to converse with the dancers to create something authentic to them is my favorite to be a part of.

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I’m In Scotland! Fringe Festival Day 6! (I SAW 2 SHOWS TODAY!)

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Today I saw two very wonderful and uniquely different dance shows today as well as performing once again in our show. The first show I will talk about is Be Captivated by Ballet Central (http://www.balletcentral.co.uk/) which is based out of the UK. … Continue reading

Egos in the Dance World: Choreographers

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I’ve had a few friends in the dance world mention to me that the choreographer has the final say in certain situations,  “and if you do not like it you can get out”, when discussing choreographer-dancer rehearsal relations. More specifically,  … Continue reading

Teaching Class vs Giving Class

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When I first started attending college I was a Dance Education Major, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I decided to just change my major to Dance. I still have a passion for wanting to teach dance, I’ve just decided I did not want to do so directly out of college. So when I go take dance classes from other teachers and instructors in my area, I am always thinking about their teaching technique.

I had a friend mention that there is a difference between teaching class and giving class, where the instructor who gives class just stands in front of the class and performs choreography. I would have to agree with this as well. In some of the classes I’ve taken and spent money on, I have noticed that the instructor just merely warms up the class with a few aerobic movements, maybe an across the floor phrase, and shows a dance combination for the last part of class for the students to do a few times over and over. In these kinds of classes, I’ve noticed that it seems more like a performance for the participants and even for the instructors at times, and the students leave the class without much more than the opportunity to have danced a great combination.

In classes where the instructor is doing more teaching, he or she is more active in moving around the room and offering feedback (both tactile and verbal), as well as offering individual students something personal to work on. This does tend to be very difficult to do if the instructor is teaching a huge class and can not get to every student, but the effort to do so with at least a few has proven to be beneficial to others in the class if they are not the ones receiving feedback. One of my favorite kind of teachers would take a few moments in every class to show the class what feedback they are giving to the student that could be applicable to many others in the class, if not all.

Teaching dance is a very fun and great thing to do and have a skill in. It also gets very easy to simply give a class instead of teaching a class so that the students have something to grow from after they leave they leave the class. I know I return to a class over and over when the teacher takes the effort out to provide information for each student to apply to their dancing instead of just a great challenging dance combination.

Transitions and L.O.V.E.

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I will be in my Final year at ASU this upcoming fall (YAY!) and with that comes a huge responsibility, Transition Projects! For Dance Majors at ASU’s school of dance, the final main project of the year is called the Transition Projects, which is very similar to a Capstone project in other disciplines, How the project is done is almost completely up to the individual student. Some examples that have been done in the pas have been students performing solos either created by themselves, choreographed by someone else, or in conjunction with a faculty in the. Others have choreographed group pieces, as well as going on to completely put on their own show that is separate from the main Transition Project Showing that happens in February.

I have seen 3 transition shows since first entering ASU as a dance major and the ones that have definitely stood out to me as actually “transitioning” were those that used the creation and performance of dance to address a real struggle that the performer or choreographer faced daily. Whether the topic was race, family, society, or anything in between, the fact that it is a real honest connection to the movement is what reads so powerfully with me.

Well, after  3 years of anticipation for my chance, I have decided to try and make something that addressed real struggles and issues I have in my own life, which happens to be with L.O.V.E. I will create a series of dances related to teh topic of love over the next year to build up my repertoire as a choreographer as well as showcase more of my work outside of ASU. When I say love I am referring to love in all aspects. Love in the romantic way, love for your kin, friendship love, love for an object or activity, and hate as a result of love. It sounds very broad and I want it that way because I would like for everyone in the audience who watches each piece in the series to be able to connect to it in some way that is real and honest for them. I do not want to create something that is just for me to connect to as the creator of these pieces.

So, this generally just came about from one day really deciding to address the fact that I have a very strong emotional detachment from most things and people. At times I am afraid to love because I fear the end result is pain, other times I stay detached because I feel that it is not worth being emotionally invested, and more times than not I stay detached because I am expecting the person or thing I love to vanish, leave, or withdraw before I’m ready to go. I have had a lot of experiences with someone I love abandoning feelings for me, or physically abandoning me, and after many years of suppressing my reactions to it these events I think I have become very desensitized. It’s almost like I am a piece of tape that doesn’t have much adhesive left,

With this series of pieces, I will be recreating scenarios in my life and those I have seen others go through that have helped shape my unhealthy reaction to love, relationships, and attachment. I am excited, nervous, and scared to try and reach so deeply within myself for the sake of dance and art, but all I can see is growth as a dancer, dance maker, and human so I going forth with this for sure.

I will keep updates on this as well… this will be interesting =)

I’ve Been Gone WAY Too Long.. Sorry!

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Ok, I’ve obviously been away form this too long! I’ve been wanting to write on this for so long and post so many updates, but nothing had happened and I was really ambivalent about every thing. I was out of a job, unhappy with what I was dancing and creating, and generally just in a very grey area in terms of emotions. But, I’m back to feeling like me! I realized (again) that I feel like crap when I have too much time on my hands. Being out of school on summer break and jobless just made me very… ugh, to say the least.

So, I just accidentally posted this by pressing the stupid Publish button (I Know), so let me sum this up. I have a job now, full time. I am working with my dance group in AZ (Scorpius Dance Theatre, Google us!) to get ready to go to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland,  which I will update daily about that experience because it Will Be nothing short of amazing and beautiful and inspirational and everything else. I have decided to do my final dance project at ASU about L.O.V.E. and a lot of what that entails (more info in another post) since I am graduating SPRING 2014! And I am really excited and scared about the subject of this project to say the least! And lastly, I am working on the 3rd Annual Arizona’s Got Dance National Dance Day Showcase and Workshop that I artistically direct for my friend’s non-profit Dancer’s and Health Together (check us out!) which will be on July 20th (showcase) and July 17th, national dance day (workshop, I am teaching!)

I am BACK AND HAVE A SOUND MIND!

Jealousy or Inspiration (Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster)

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In response to the Daily Prompt: Green Eyed Monster http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/daily-prompt-green-eyed-monster/

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Whenever I go out and take a dance class, there is always a great dance Juggernaut in that has  great flexibility, amazing performance quality, perfect timing, and/or impeccable technique in the style. Quite often, you can immediately tell who it is (sometimes, who They are) before the class even begins. They are normally somewhere off in a corner or the back of the room, warming up and stretching on their own about thirty minutes before the class starts. Off in their own world, getting in the zone. Whatever ritual they are doing at that moment pays off nine times out of nine because once they begin to move, all eyes in the class dart to that dancer.

Most of the time, everyone’s eyes are green with envy and you can begin to hear whispers of, “oh my gosh, who is he?” “look at those legs!” “I could never dance like that” or even “show off”. Unfortunately, dance class is not always a loving community, and the whispers caused by jealousy could be very harsh. But, instead of whispering, I have a different approach.

Often in a dance class where there is a Juggernaut, I initially have those envious thoughts of “wow, I could never do that”, but I’ve worked really hard to change my thought process so that I quickly restate “I’m going to be able to dance like that soon!” so that I am not putting myself down. I am naturally inspired by the people and talent immediately around me, if I do not let jealousy get in the way. So, whenever there is a time for my to stand or sit still and watch that dance, I study that person like he or she is the textbook for the course. I watch how they prepare to jump or turn, how they land, where their focus is, how they emphasize certain movements, what they are embellishing, how they interpret the music, and even what they do before and after they “perform” the phrase. Then, when it is my turn I do the same thing internally for myself, and see where I could fit in some of those qualities the other dancer is doing or how I can enhance some of own characteristics to make them more potent.

I try not to emulate other dancers because I do not want to look like another dancer in a class, I want to stand out for being so unique like the Juggernaut, so that one day I can be the Juggernaut of a class.

One of the best things I try to do after I am initially envious of another dancer in class is compliment them after the class is over. That person worked hard to get to where they are and I know I like to be complimented for my hard work, so I try to pass that good mojo on. And if there is something I want to learn from them specifically, I ask. I want to grow as a dancer, so I just ask specific questions that can and should help me in the future. Obviously that person knows things that I do not because I was at least once envious of them, but now inspired.