My Lines Ballet Summer Intensive Audition

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This past Sunday, I made the trek down to Tucson, AZ with my good friend Ashley to Audition for the Alonzo King Line Ballet Summer Intensive! I’ve wanted to audition for a bit over a year, but this time around I actually had time and felt a bit prepared to do so. Little did I know that there was almost no preparing for this thing called Contemporary-Ballet

The class started off with me having a higher bit of confidence because I felt like my barre work was solid, and my musicality was on. The instructor of the class gave us the task of finding a more creative way to showing musicality at the barre, and through the rest of class really, and not become robots with our connection to the music. She said, “the pianist is giving you so much texture and quality to play with and emphasize so fill the space with that in mind but through your body, and don’t forget to still dance”.

My Lucky number for the Audition

My Lucky number for the Audition

We tried this task out on the tendu phrase and by the end I felt like I was getting the hang of it…. Nope. The instructor told us we were not achieving what she was asking of us and then spoke directly to by saying, “I need YOU to dance! Because, I know once I tell you to improvise across the floor you’ll be a completely different dancer. So show me that dancer at the barre.”

GAH! I loved and hated her for the publicly isolated feedback/encouragement, but it definitely inspired me to take more risks at the barre. I tried feeling the music, losing myself in the phrases, adding some more torso action, and letting my skin feel the texture of the space around me. Even though it felt awkward.

Through the rest of center and class I struggled where I struggled and focused on applying feedback whenever she gave it, even if I flopped in everything else in the phrase. But it wasn’t until improvisation across the floor that I felt fully confident.

She asked that we let go of the ballet, trick, extensions, and control because she had seen enough of it at that time and to show us something different. I immediately ripped off my ballet shoes, tossed them into my bag and let my bare feet kiss the cold marley below.

I was sixth to go across the floor, and besides my friend Ashley, who was second, no one took her suggestions to heart really. And you could tell when she lost interest in someone’s performance by whether or not she waited for the dancer to finish their improvisation or not before queing in the next dancer. She waited for my friend Ashley.

When I was called in, I turned on all of my sense and crumpled into the floor. I live for the ground. When I’m down so low I feel like I could safely fly, and flip, contort with ease and finesse. So, I brought out everything I could muster at that moment. I tried playing with timing, purposefully focusing with my eyes, different textures of movements, using angles and shapes in the most unorthodox way all before ending flipping off if the ground with a one armed back cartwheel from a sitting position. Everyone before me that had finished had wide-eyes.

After class, I thanked the woman and asked for her name (forgot it like a dunce). But, when I asked for clarification on some of her feedback she to explained and added that she believed I have great technique and to keep working on what I’m doing… “great technique” rang in my ears. I have never heard that honestly spoke from someone’s mouth at that level of professionalism and I am still in awe by it.

Hard work pays off! I’m crossing my fingers that I get that acceptance letter, because I know this will be a great fit for me. Why must I wait 2 weeks!? UGH!

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.

Work In Progress! (I’m on the Left)

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So, out of nowhere I heard this adaption of Amy Whinehouse’s Back To Black covered by Andre 3000 and Beyonce during one of the trailers for The Great Gatsby movie. I was completely shocked that two of my favorite artists would cover one of my favorite songs! And when the full song came out I jumped on the opportunity to choreograph to it, and this is the product of a few hours in the studio.

My friend Vince danced it with me, and the choreography is just loosely based on the high life of Gatsby’s life as well as his friendship to Nick Carraway.

I am also currently working on a longer adaption for this that will explored Gatsby and Tom Buchanan’s fight over Daisy.

Enjoy and tell me what you think as well where you think I could got with this.

Introduction, Fails, and Bloopers

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This video is really rough, but hey, it’s my first try at this and it’ll get better! I’ll learn the secret Jedi arts of video editing, (might just get a MAC honestly… much easier on there).

Subscribe on YouTube as well as I will be uploading a video every week about what I am doing on this journey, as well as what I am seeing. I think this will be really fun (and Funny) lol