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Where's Front? Tips for Not Getting Turned Around Onstage

I'm terrified of performing choreography that changes directions. I messed up last year when the stage lights caused me to become disoriented. What can I do to prevent this from happening again? I can perform the combination just fine in the studio with the mirror.

—Scared, San Francisco, CA


It's never too late to learn from your experience. Last year, you were taken by surprise, but now you know what to expect and can prepare ahead of time. Practice the choreography in the studio by facing away from the mirror so you feel self-assured without using your reflection to guide you.

Then, try to get into the theater early to rehearse. Focus on something tangible (like the red exit sign at the back of the house) to center you. The point is to orient yourself despite the blinding stage lights, so you can become immersed in the performance. The most magical dancers stay in the moment instead of getting distracted by worrisome questions like "What if I can't perform that step?"

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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