"I Realized the Power in Loving the Dancer I Am by Loving the Man I Am"
My parents felt it was important to give each of their six kids a place in the world. For me, my mom sensed that place might be hip-hop class. In the very safe space that was the dance studio, I was able to express more emotion than in any other part of my day. It was a training ground for how to exist in a small town with a passion that colored outside the lines of a Midwestern male archetype.
Carlos Quezada, Courtesy Palmquist
I took as many styles as were offered and spent weekends in hotel ballrooms full of young, like-minded dancers. The pressure rose for my parents. How to pay for such an expensive hobby? How to teach me that winning competitions wasn't the most important part while also knowing it would go a long way toward building a confidence I didn't yet have?
After leaving home, I started to feel less and less like-minded among dancers who were perfectly happy to do as they were told, never finding it at odds with their sense of self. I was wispy and subtle and felt connected to music from my hips and neck. I sensed I wasn't quite the dancer that directors were looking for. Yet I wanted my parents to feel reassured that I had a place.
Carlos Quezada, Courtesy Palmquist
It wasn't until I was learning A Chorus Line from Donna McKechnie and Wayne Cilento, for American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, that I realized the power in loving the dancer I am by loving the man I am. I was struck by how they left room for dancers' instinctual flair inside the blueprints of eight-counts.
I am so grateful to my parents for giving me access to my own place in the world. In a way, they taught me everything I know about dance by teaching me everything they know about unconditional love.
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.