I enjoy being stretched. The life of a tap dancer already exists somewhere in between that of a musician and a dancer so I’m used to being at the intersection of expectations and skill sets. However, I can now count my latest YoungARTS experience as the one in which I was stretched the most. At least up until that point.
Creating a cohesive character-driven show with players who haven’t really worked together before and who have varying skill sets is indeed a challenge. By the end of the creative process I was tasked with some serious character work, comedic prop work, and even playing the piano (on the same stage as as s Grammy nominated musician). Fundamental concepts that I’ve learned while exploring the craft of tap dancing came to the forefront very quickly. Ideas of intent, only doing what’s necessary, and touch (approach to the floor vs. approach to the keys of a piano) were all things I leaned on heavily during this process. However my greatest friend during the entire process was this: making a choice.
For years I was told, “Make a choice, then you can figure out if its the right choice or not, but you have to make a choice.”
And so it was, that I survived the abbreviated creative process by making bold choices. Such survival techniques seemed less abrasive as I was surrounded by an amazing cast that included Grammy nominated cellist and music director Dave Eggar, creative director Peter Kope, movement director and dancer Michele de la Reza, percussionist Jake Goldbas, singer-songwriter-bassist Kate Davis, and dancers Ernest Baker, Allysen Hooks, and Brittanie Brown.
And so here’s to being being stretched again., to having the opportunity to make bold choices in a supportive environment, and to making new friends in the process.