Friday, March 9, 2012

A Dancer's Life

Something I strangely don’t talk about that often here on this blog (and I say strangely because it is a huge part of my life) is dance. My experiences with dance, my career thus far, what I’m doing now. In fact, I've noticed I hardly ever mention it.

For those of you who don’t know my background, I’ve been dancing since I was three years old, and really fell in love with dance somewhere around ten or eleven. I can remember the turning point for me, that point where ballet became more of a passion than a hobby.

I was in Virginia at my very first ballet summer intensive. I was on my own for the first time, and I was in ballet classes for a good seven or eight hours a day. I was only there for three weeks, but I came home and knew that this art form was going to change my life.

From there, I really began applying myself, working on my technique, working to make my lines “perfect.” That unattainable perfection became an obsession, and despite my less than perfect turn-out and far from perfect feet, I worked endlessly to achieve what I could.

I installed a barre and dance floor in my garage, and after coming home from five hours of class or rehearsal, I would go out there and work harder.

I was a competition kid, and I can vouch that my life was nothing like what you see on Dance Moms, besides the endless rehearsals (there were a lot of those). Other than that, competitions were so incredibly fun for me. There are times that I really miss that time in my life.

When I was 14, I went to study with the Central Florida Ballet and danced with their company for three years, training hard, and honing in on my ballet technique. With a russian curriculum, the academy associated with the company emphasized technical achievement and detail work, which at that point in my training was what I really needed.

After graduating high school, and sustaining an ankle injury that prevented me from auditioning my whole senior season, I stayed back and danced with a local contemporary jazz dance company called CineDance Jazz. I realized I wanted to pursue an education at the same time, and headed off to get my bachelor’s while still actively performing.

I kept myself busy in school by performing with the University of Central Florida’s dance team, KnightMoves. It was a complete departure for me from what I was used to. Coming from a ballet background, jumping into the world of collegiate team dance was a little bit of a culture shock (and I just could not get those sharp pom arms for the life of me), but I had fun and the hours of rehearsal allowed me to keep my technique where it needed to be through that year.

For the past three years, I have been with Emotions Dance Company, a contemporary company here in Central Florida. With Emotions, I’ve had the opportunity to perform all over Orlando, including several times on the Bob Carr stage with the annual Red Chair Affair gala.

We are a small company, but I am loving the opportunity to continue dancing in a style that is more attuned to my contemporary/ballet roots, while still having the flexibility to pursue other goals of mine. Some more recent performance shots (sorry, no leopard print this time)

For dancers in the Central Florida area looking for a great class to take, feel free to join us every Tuesday at 9:00 pm. Below is an idea of what we do in our open-to-the-public classes. Class cost is only $10 for two hours. Preeetttty decent! And you'll see we explore a pretty wide range of styles, particularly in our open classes.

Or, if you’re a dancer looking for a place to share your talents, come audition for us. The company is holding auditions next Tuesday evening, and I know I love seeing new faces.

This weekend is going to be a great one. We’ve got some exciting things in the works. More info to come later. Just know it’s going to be amazing!

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