Why I Dance: Lindsey Leduc

December 31, 2012

In her seventh year with the highly energetic Giordano Dance Chicago, Lindsey Leduc is not only a standout performer, but also a teacher and choreographer. Growing up in Southbridge, MA, she had her heart set on Broadway or ballet. But a week at the Jazz Dance World Congress at the age of 16 opened her eyes to other genres. A graduate of Hofstra University, Leduc worked with Hinton Battle and Robin Becker before coming to Chicago to study at the Giordano school on scholarship. Since joining GDC she has performed in works by Mia Michaels, Ron De Jesus, Christopher Huggins, Davis Robertson, Rennie Harris, Autumn Ekman, and others. She now teaches at the Joffrey Academy and various youth companies and has choreographed for Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, and the Giordano company.


Photo of Leduc by Gorman Cook Photography, Courtesy Giordano.


My mother tells me I came out dancing. I dance to remember. I dance to forget. When asked why I chose a life in dance, I say, “It chose me.” This isn’t a hobby or even a job.  This is a lifestyle so encompassing and demanding that surely if there was something else to fill your days that also filled your soul, you’d choose that.


Movement is my first language. I’m part of a community that crosses all boundaries and barriers; that knows no age, occupation, or socio-economic status. I’m in the business of feeling, connection, and inspiration.


It’s vital for me to be surrounded by like-minded and like-hearted individuals. Everyone wants to feel like they belong; to feel they are seen, heard, and acknowledged. Dance has been my voice, my wings to fly, and my path home.


As an adolescent, learning combinations in dance class and connecting to music gave me a rush. I understood the task, dissected it, and delivered. It felt like winning the lottery. I knew I was supposed to dance, and I knew that it was a gift to feel a calling. My parents, extended family, and seemingly everyone else in my small town hustled and struggled to make ends meet. Occupations were a means of making money. I saw the pride and accomplishment in hard work and good ethics, but I found something at a young age I recognized as an ever-evolving, informative, and reflective art form that I could make my work. Lottery! And on the shoulders of so many, I find myself nearly a decade into a journey with Giordano Dance Chicago.


I’ve had moments of elation and moments of fear on and off the stage. I’ve found myself backstage giving myself a pep talk to overcome my nerves. And I’ve found myself in the zone, transcending time and space, relishing the magic of the stage. Dance performance is a live art form, and I’ve come to learn that the best we can do is to own the here and now and be brave enough to let it be. Be brave enough to chase, to fall, and to stand back up. There is a lesson waiting in every moment.


The studio and the stage are home for me. My colleagues and teachers are my chosen family. Moving through our lives together, away from where we came from, we discover where we’re going, together.


People, humans, were moving before they were talking. Language is an evolution of expression. Movement is innate in all of us and resonates like breaking bread, celebrating, or mourning. We dance to remember. We dance to forget.


So, I dance because it’s my language. It’s alive and lives in us and with us. It’s never the same and can’t be duplicated or replicated. Not exactly. And what a beautiful testament to this life and the people it’s filled with. It is a deep and rich existence I am grateful to experience, and honored to pass on. That is Why I Dance.