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On a personal note…dream achieved

May 13, 2012

April has melted away and here I stand looking at my calendar only to realize that half of May has already done the same.  Where has the time gone?  Well, for me personally, it vanished into a whirlwind of rehearsals and performances.  I haven’t been blogging about dance because I’ve been too busy dancing. Ironic isn’t it!


“Partners in Mime” – LA Unbound Spring 2012 – (R) Chiabella James

There is a lot of news to share.  In the past month I have debuted not one, but two pieces of my very own choreography.  For someone who has dreamed of being a choreographer, this was a huge milestone in my life.  One piece was a traditional show ballroom routine for a studio showcase where I teach.  Classes have been slow so I decided they needed some inspiration, which came in the form of a rousing and really fun cha cha routine. I learned a few new lifts and had a really great time matching  up movements to the lyrics of my chosen song.  Sadly the show itself was stymied by a painfully bad floor.  We got through the routine plenty fine and I’m sure few in the audience really noticed, but all I was thinking the entire time was “where are my feet” and “please, don’t let me face-plant while trying to impress these people with my dancing.”  Fortunately no accidents were to be had, but I must admit it was less than ideal.  The good news is that it seems to have done the trick and generated more interest in classes.

The other piece was my aforementioned project with LA Unbound.  I debuted “Partners in Mime,” a piece that blended pantomime, jazz, mambo and samba into one seamless dance.   I ended up performing in the piece, which I had not initially intended, but ultimately was for the best. (By the way, that’s me hanging upside down in the photo!) It was an extremely gratifying experience to have finally accomplished one of my big dreams – to choreograph a ballroom fusion dance piece for stage AND have it performed!  To be honest, it still feels a little surreal.  I am so grateful to the folks at LA Unbound for the opportunity and my amazing dancers for their hard work, efforts and being open-minded. At the same time, it was terrifying to put my dream, my baby, out there to be judged by the world.  Fortunately it was well-received and my mind is already churning out more ideas for future shows.

Looking back, I’m amazed at just how much time, energy, thought and money I put into these projects.  It demanded so much of me, at every level.  I really had no idea going in just what it would require of me.  While taxing, it was absolutely worth the experience as well as the satisfaction of having done it.  I learned so many things about the nuances of staging, how to use dancers, how to run a rehearsal and more. I learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of  and that this is truly a deeper calling.  I’m sure there is still plenty more to learn and that the learning process itself is a life-long journey.  However, I can proudly say that I took the first step and made it happen.

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