"Your art matters. It's what got me here"
If two years ago you told me I would be dancing at Ballet West with my favorite professional ballet dancer, I would have rolled my eyes and told you to get realistic. But here I am, writing this from Salt Lake City- the most aesthetically pleasing city I have ever been to- after a long week of dancing with Allison DeBona and other Ballet West members, and performing in a final showcase today. To recap, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the artÈmotion Summer Intensive at Ballet West. I have never attended a summer intensive like this before, or gotten to travel for dance. Dance brought me to this beautiful city, and gave me a week to remember for the rest of my life.
I had no idea what to expect going into this intensive. It was intimidating to walk into a new studio, especially a professional one, and be in a room full of beautiful dancers that I had never met before. I was taking class with dancers of all different experience levels- everyone from retired ballerinas to Ballet West company members. It was a lot to take in at first, but it's something to get used to if you're going to have a career in the dance world. Once ballet barre started, I felt much more comfortable. Tbere's something comforting about doing barre; no matter where I go, it's a familiar exercise and a consistent aspect of my life. All of the ballet classes I took this week were a lot of fun. I felt like I could keep up (even with BW members), and it was nice to not worry about how well I was doing in this class. Of course I was there to improve, but it's been a while since I've taken a dance class that I wasn't being graded on. At the end of the day, I knew it didn't really matter how well I did in each class; I was there to learn and have fun.
I also had the chance to take contemporary, modern, jazz, pointe, and variations classes during my time at Ballet West. I was grateful for my BSU dance education during contemporary and modern, because I know I would have been so lost and uncomfortable if this was my first experience in more modern styles. My favorite class besides ballet was Allison DeBona's pointe and variations class. I have been en pointe for seven years, but I have always felt behind when taking pointe classes. I kept up pretty well in this class, and I appreciated how she played close attention to the tiny details of pointe work, and how she gave us different exercises that we can do outside of class. The variation we learned was a version of the Lilac Fairy from The Sleeping Beauty. I have previously learned both the Vaganova and Royal Ballet (which I performed at BSU) versions of this variation, but I was excited to get to do a version en pointe. Allison made me feel comfortable and confident enough to try the variation en pointe, and later that day we performed the variation en pointe at our showcase. Even though it was a variation I'd done many times, I felt very accomplished for performing it en pointe with very little rehearsal time.
The choreography aspect of this intensive was a worthwhile experience. Even though I was tired by 2PM and wasn't always up for another 2 1/2 hours of dancing, working with BW Principal Adrian Fry was an incredible experience. Instead of just teaching us a dance, Adrian assigned us different choreography activities and made the piece based off the movement we created. The assignments were variations of the activities I've done at Bridgewater State, and incorporated many of the movement concepts I've learned at BSU (negative space, retrograde, levels, etc.) It was good for me to not only have fun this week, but to connect this experience to my dance education.
In addition to dancing, I had the opportunity to participate in a professional dance photoshoot with L. M. Sorenson Photography. While I have not seen my final photos yet, his work is amazing and working with Allison during the photoshoot was a great experience for me. I have always been self-conscious during photoshoots (especially dance ones), but Allison coached me and made me feel comfortable and confident about my photos.
The people I worked with this week were unique. Everyone in this intensive came here for a different reason, with different backgrounds and different dance experiences. There was even a man in the beginner level who was in a wheelchair. It was inspiring to learn about what all of these people have been through, and still see them pursing their passion. It was also cool to be connected to so many different people through our love of dance. Everyone from professional ballet dancers, to parents, to college students...we are all connected by our art.
You know those things in life that while they're happening you say to yourself, "I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life"? This week is one of those things. I owe a big thank you to my mom for bringing me to Utah, and to everyone at artÈmotion (especially Allison and Adrian) for the opportunity to grow as a dancer this week. As Lucas Scott said in One Tree Hill, "Your art matters. It's what got me here". Dance brought me to Salt Lake City and to all of these amazing and talented people.
If anyone is interested in attending an artÈmotion Summer Intensive next year (there are many different programs offered), you can visit their website or follow them on social media! It was a worthwhile experience for me, and I would recommend it to all dancers!
Hello there, my name is Becca and I am a 22 year old dance teacher from Massachusetts.
News & Events
9/18 Follow my new Instagram just for my dance things!
12/23 I was one of NDEO's Guest Bloggers this year! Read "Teaching is a Vocation. Not a Fallback" on their Behind the Curtain Blog!
9/27 I will be presenting my research at the National Dance Education Organization National Conference next week! See my research project by clicking the button below!
4/15 While working on PMA's production of The Addams Family, I got to combine my two favorite styles of dance (ballet and musical theatre) for "The Moon and Me"! Watch my talented students dance by clicking the button below!
2/20 I am choreographing PMA Theatre Guild's Production of The Addams Family! Come see these amazing high school students perform at Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen, MA April 13 & 14! Tickets available at the door.
2/20 I am stage managing BSU's Dance Kaleidoscope this year! Show dates are March 29-31 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. Come see this student choreography showcase!
11/5 I will once again be dancing in a BSUDC concert! Tickets to WinterDance are now available!
8/24 NDEO's National Honor Society for Dance Arts has published one of my articles in their newsletter! Read an updated version of "Audition Advice" here:
5/16 Interested in learning about movement concepts? Visit Becca's new Educational Dance website!
5/8 BSU Dance Company's Dance Kaleidoscope 2017 is now on Youtube! You can watch my performances by visiting the VIDEOS page!
4/23 I recently performed for the residents of Allerton House in Hingham, MA! You can watch part of my performance here!
Amesbury Children's Theatre presents...James and the Giant Peach Jr, featuring choreography by me! Click for tickets!
2/8 My piece "Barefoot" is now available to watch online! Click to watch!
2/5 Happy to say I have been cast in BSU Dance Company's Spring concert Dance Kaleidoscope! I will be dancing in 3 faculty choreographed pieces, including excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty in which I will be dancing the role of Lilac Fairy! Show dates are March 31-April 1 at Bridgewater State University.
Click the button for more info!
1/15 Ballet with Becca is now on Facebook! Click to visit the page, and be sure to like it while you're there!
1/14 I am happy to say I will be attending artEmotion's summer intensive in June! I will be dancing in the one week artEmotion Adult Program. If anyone would like to join or audition for any other artEmotion program, visit their website!
12/13 My photo gallery has been recreated! Click to see the new page, including photos from WinterDance 2016!