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Returning to the world of performance dance

August 18, 2009

Two weeks ago I auditioned for a choreographer’s showcase called LA Unbound.  It is an unpaid, professional production by Los Angeles area choreographers to produce pieces that are outside of what they might get to do for their usual performance work.  It also provides an opportunity for dancers to perform in several different styles and to meet choreographers and fellow dancers.  The show takes place on November 7, 2009 and features approximately 15 dance numbers in styles ranging from contemporary to hip hop.  You can learn more about this unique dance performance at: http://launbound.com/

At the audition I was selected for two of the dance pieces and last night I started rehearsals.  As my first foray into performance dance in nearly 15 years, I felt excited about the prospect of meeting other professional dancers and trying my hand (or more appropriately, feet) in this medium again.  This particular piece is Latin-inspired, with salsa music, so my experience as a competitive Latin dancer came in handy.  As evidenced by the choreography, I was amused to find that the choreographer seemed to have a much stronger background in jazz than Latin dancing, as was also apparently true for most of the other performers.

Overall I found the experience fun and inspiring.  Everyone I spoke to was pleasant and committed to their dancing.  I was able to pick up the choreography well and felt confident in my movements, despite the lack of recent jazz training.  If anything, I remembered how much I had enjoyed that style in the past.   Plus I was able to inject some extra hip movement and sass for the salsa parts.  In my conversations with other dancers, I’m slowly learning more about the area studios as well.

The worlds of ballroom and performance dance are so very different in many ways and the more I learn, the more enlightening it is compare them side-by-side.  I would imagine they both have a lot to offer each other and I hope to be a part of that process.   Yet regardless of style, all dancers seem to have the same drive, the same passion and the same dedication to honing their art.

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