Photography by Sara Drebelbius
Tomorrow, April and I will leave to represent the =ibrium Dance Project at the Dance in the Mitten Festival in Michigan. We will be performing “Open”, a duet that is very close to my heart.
This piece was choreographed just two years ago. But in that time it’s been a part of many shows. I was fortunate enough to set it on the beautiful Amanda and Charise (shown in the video of a studio run in 2011 ). Then I had the pleasure of dancing it with Charise myself, and now for the second time with the lovely April.
This performance with April is particularly special because this woman just graduated from Ball State! She is one of the fabulous dance majors I’ve watched grow and become an amazing artist over the last 3 years I’ve been at Ball State. I’m honored to share the stage with this talented young woman!
Many of my teaching inspirations come from my “dance mom”, the lovely Mary Anne Santos Newhall. One of these is to bring my technique classes outside at least every semester.
Monday, on Earth Day, I took my Modern 121 class outside to dance in front of Ball State’s famous Beneficence. Not only was it fun to dance outside, but it brought on a different movement quality. I remember when Mary Anne had us dancing outside, she pointed out all of the sensations; having a wide open sky instead of windows and walls, feeling the sun on your skin, and taking in all of the sights and smells around me. As I watched my class dance movement phrases I’ve seen them do many times before inside, I was amazed at how their movement quality changed just from changing our location.
I had the students perform an improvisation around Beneficence and then we pieced together some phrases that they just learned that day and others from throughout the semester. The combination of the beauty of mother nature and these lovely young ladies is quite a site to behold.
Today was filled with final exam reviews and creating my new website with breaks of meeting with my Modern 121 students for their end of semester meetings. Today was the last day of classes and while the exhaustion that comes with the end of the semester does have a tendency to make one emotional, I must say I am very sad that I won’t get to dance with this group of young ladies all together again.
For any educator, it is hard to help guide someone along their path, watching proudly as they grow as artists and individuals, and then have to let them go. Just like dance, education for me is very much about the moment. In dance, you have that one moment in time that can never be fully re-created or happen again. It is unique. It is the same for my classes. They exist for that time and then that group of dancers is gone. (Yet they are always a part of me). I can teach the same class and even have some of the same students, but that same group and their unique energy can never exist again.
Thank you to all of my students for letting me share a short part of your movement lives. May you think of me every time you shift your pelvis or use your Effort Actions 🙂