"Dance Is My Time For Make-Believe"
"I don't wanna go to dance!" As a kid, these were my famous words.
When packing into the car for the interminable ride to the studio, I would kick and scream so much that I earned the nickname "The Hornet." I am so glad my parents put up with my sting, because looking back, it was just the going part that I didn't like. The dance part, I loved. I always have.
One of the most resounding reasons I love dance is because I love people. I have always been a people person; I enjoy being around people, people-watching and telling and listening to their stories. I enjoy the feeling of collective energy when I dance–like I am a small part of something big, while simultaneously feeling singularly special.
Perhaps my favorite thing about people is our incredible power and ability to create. Humans have imagination, and dancers have the power to communicate what is imagined. Dancing with Justin Timberlake is a perfect example of this. His music lends itself to a certain mood, and when I'm on stage, it's my job to go beyond the actual steps and take on that essence to transport the audience to a different place.
Photo by Taylor James, courtesy Dana Wilson
This is a magical thing! It takes great discipline and skill to translate ideas into a physical form. But then again, kids do it all the time. I'm a big kid now, but my inner child still loves to play.
When I am dancing, however, I am free of those externalities that confine, regulate and restrict me. When I'm dancing on stage, in a studio or at a party, I feel free. I control my timing, and the texture of my movements, but I also use my imagination to control how I am feeling. It is my time for make-believe. It might be the only point during the day that I am in control of when and how I move through the world.
By the Sunday evening of a long convention weekend, you can expect to be thoroughly exhausted and a little sore. But you shouldn't leave the hotel ballroom actually hurt. Although conventions can be filled with magical opportunities, the potential for injury is higher than usual.
Keep your body safe: Watch out for these four common hazards.
For a Broadway dancer, few opportunities are more exciting than being part of the creation of an original show. But if that show goes on to become wildly successful, who reaps the benefits? Thanks to a new deal between Actors' Equity Association and The Broadway League, performers involved in a production's development will now receive their own cut of the earnings.
Jellicle obsessives, rejoice: There's a new video out that offers a (surprisingly substantive) look at the dancing that went down on the set of the new CATS movie.