August 25, 2010
It’s that time of year again! The time when the summer heat gives way to autumn’s cool, fresh air; the time when Back to School sales dominate every imaginable store; the time when students begin gearing up for their schedule of daunting classes.
For me, this August marks another transitional year. I’m a year out of college and have already experienced my first non-participatory Back to School season. I was, however, in Chicago at the time and was experiencing a “back to school”-vibe all it’s own…you could say I was beginning a year-long dance camp. It felt akin to a 5th year of college; you know, that last year spent working as an intern for a company in your chosen career field. This year, I am back in the city where every August was met with school preparations.
This year is similar but different. Instead of preparing for a student’s return, I am preparing to be the teacher - the dance teacher to be precise. I will not be teaching at a school but instead I will be at a studio and at various Park and Recreation programs. That is unless I am offered a contract at one of the various auditions I will be attending within the next few weeks.
The contract most within reach is with a company called Dancing People Company. Based in Ashland, Oregon the company was founded by Robin Stiehm, a former Minneapolis dancer and choreographer. The company is small at about 4-6 members and apprentices, so my chances are slim. However, they are looking for one new member and one apprentice and are considering four dancers, one of whom is yours truly. I’m not sure if they have filled one of the positions or not. If they have then I have 25% chance of being hired. If not, well, the glass will be half full then, huh?
At present Ms. Stiehm, co-director Peggy Paver, one other Minneapolis dancer and I are trying to coordinate a time when we can fly out there and dance with the company. It would be a trial run to see how I fit with the company. I hope we find a working timeframe that won’t require me to miss any of my dance classes. Lord knows I need the money! I need it even more so now that I will be dropping upwards of $450 to fly out to Oregon.
My other auditions this month are for the Jose Limon Dance Company and various Universal Studios and Disney Tokyo shows. These auditions have me flying out to New York City, NY yet again. My trip will have less riding on it this time around (unlike when I flew out for Bill Young’s audition) which means I will in theory be more relaxed. The weather will be nicer too so as long as I wear appropriate shoes I will have a more enjoyable time walking around the Big Apple.
Transitions can be stressful and frightening. With the right mindset they can also be incredibly exciting! With the well wishes and “good lucks” from my loved-ones, I am choosing to take my transition with a dash of anxiety and a heaping handful of excitement.