Don’t let the title of this blog entry fool you. I had one hell of a Spring Break this semester. It just was not what I would call a “break” in that, I was dancing the entire week. Let me start from the top:
ACDFA (American College Dance Festival)
This year the festival was held at Middle Tennessee State University. Sooooo, there was some driving to be done. About 10 hours worth to be exact. The trip was long and arduous but thanks to our awesome professors we made it there alive. Accompanying us on the trip was the famous Professor Rodney Brown. He’s the ridiculous modern teacher that I’ve raved about in previous blog entries. He’s doing good things over here:
Along with thanking my professors for the company I also have to thank them for the $$$$$$ and believe me, there was a lot that went into paying for the 16 of us from school to represent Santa Fe College on this trip. I think we did a pretty decent job though. We performed two of our pieces on the first day of the festival and got some pretty rave reviews from the adjudicators as well as our peers. “Regaining Breath” a piece put together by a good friend of mine Kelli Harmon and “Summertime” an all men’s piece choreographed by Professor Brown, were memorable performances for a lot of other dancers on the trip but only “Summertime” made it to the gala event on the last day of the festival. This was a pretty big deal considering that only 10 pieces from the 70-80 some odd schools are selected to go on stage that day. Not only that, we were the opening performance of the show; a first for even our own Professor Brown. And since this year was a “National year” for ACDFA that meant that some of those 10 performances would be selected to go perform at the Kennedy center with the best of the best from all over the United States. We didn’t quite make it that far, but we were listed as 2nd runner up for the job. Not too shabby I’d say.
The rest of the 5 day trip was just a plethora of dance classes being offered by teachers from all over the region ranging from contemporary jazz to improvisation to breakdance (my personal fav). When we weren’t in class dancing, we were in the MTSU theater watching dances from other colleges. And when we weren’t doing either of those two, we were dancing around in the amazing hotel where many other schools were staying. Many new friends were made and other friendships were strengthened during those times. It was a great bonding trip for our department. We took pictures galore. I honestly can’t remember being so fired up about dance. It was definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips. Some class highlights from the trip include the time I got my butt kicked in ballet class. It was a good thing though. Every once in a while you need to be put in your place. I remember walking into that “intermediate” class thinking that I would be okay to hang out with intermediate level dancers from all over. DOODE! I got a reality check. But it was one of those checks that will keep me motivated to do some more work at school and to achieve even higher levels. Another highlight was taking breakdance class with “Teena Marie” Custer. She’s an incredibly talented b-girl from the cru “Venus Fly-Trap,” google that. I felt so at home with the choreography and training but boy did I leave that class tired. Improvisation and modern were equally amazing with teachers like Claire Porter and T. Lang and Gerri Houlihan.
After everyday of class, no matter how tired I was, I couldn’t stop dancing. I danced through the hotel and back onto the van and even continued dancing back in Gainesville. I didn’t care who saw me, I just wanted to live in the moments that inspired me. This is the feeling I want to continue to have as I dance my way through the rest of the semester. And sure enough, my spring break didn’t end there.
The Wiz & Dance Florida
Oh you thought I was just doing one dance related thing over Spring Break? I’m a dancer that never stops moving. When we came back to Florida on Wednesday, I then had to get to tech and dress rehearsal for the Dancecompany of Gainesville on Thursday. Yup, we had a show to put on for Saturday. So there I am having to switch mindsets mid-week for a completely different production. The Wiz is one of those dance productions that is mainly for the kids and their parents of Gainesville to get to enjoy some performance time. The Dance Florida concert however, required me to put in some good quality work. The concert consisted of 9 different pieces of work from my beloved studio at Cameron’s (http://www.camerondancenter.com/) as well as from guest artists. I choreographed one piece: “Touring la Calle Ocho” and performed in 2 others: “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” and “From Miami to Mumbai.” My piece was a tongue and cheek hip-hop/jazz routine with some Latin flare. “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” was a piece where I was guest starring with some of the younger dancers in the company. A cute routine about long lost love and heartbreak. And finally, “From Miami to Mumbai” was an amazing Bollywood inspired piece from the amazing mind of the artistic director Nina Kessler Cameron. Google her, she is amazing. It was definitely one heck of a show that we all walked away very proud from. The feedback from our audience was very favorable. I’ll be very excited to see the video of everything. And as promised from before, if I get some video that I consider to be acceptable for viewing (I know, I’m my own worst critic) then I’ll post it up on the site.
So after all was said and done I got to sleep in a little bit on Sunday and lose an hour to daylight savings time for my “break” from school. And now I’m back to the grind but with a little more mentally inspired vigor this time. I’m off to go achieve flight, one leap at a time.