We did it! Our performance of Panorama at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with the Martha Graham Dance Company was an absolute success. The saying "bad dress, great show" was absolutely true for me. During the final rehearsal, three other dancers and I were supposed to exit through the first wing for a certain part...but the other three went out the second while I went out the first. Not only did we look messy, but they tripped me and I practically wiped out. Thankfully, we all went out the first wing during the show. The piece relies on formations and unity and we nailed it. It was so gratifying to know that our performance was the best we had ever done the piece. When I saw our instructors after, they could not stop smiling and raving about the performance. My favorite part was that the company gathered in the wings to cheer us on. We could see them smiling and hear them screaming during the bows. This is one of the few intensives I've done where I felt like the company members genuinely cared about the students.
Since SPAC is an amphitheater, the stage was covered in pollen—I'm still sneezing and coughing. During Maple Leaf Rag, I noticed that a million bugs were flocking to the stage lights. You could barely tell that the dancers were being surrounded by insects, but apparently a bug flew into soloist Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch's eye while she was dancing. Talk about an awful performance mishap! Besides the bugs, the pollen, and the dress rehearsal, our performance was definitely a success.
We're preparing for our showing of student work, which will be this Thursday and Friday. We're making videos, taking pictures, choreographing, and rehearsing Panorama. Today, we learned a part of Maple Leaf Rag, which we might do as well. Tonight, principal dancer Elizabeth Auclair will give an informal lecture on nutrition for dancers. She gave one a week ago and we liked it so much we asked her to do another. As someone who is very interested in such topics, I'm looking forward to that tonight. Although I'm a little tired, I will be really sad when this week comes to a close and we all go home. Between all the new people I've met and the progress I've made, this has been an awesome experience.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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Dancers are naturally "in their heads" all the time—but not always in productive ways. Long days of receiving and applying corrections, taking class, and performing can get to even the most composed individuals. What should you do when you feel like your mind is just as busy as your rehearsal schedule? Try meditation. Dance Spirit turned to Adreanna Limbach, a head teacher at NYC-based meditation studio MNDFL, for a breakdown of this highly beneficial practice.
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe
It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.
But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.