Brianna is an 18-year-old dancer at Moving in the Spirit. This is her second year dancing and touring with the Apprentice Corporation.
What has made the Apprentice Corporation different from your other dance experiences?
“Here, you have a lot of opportunities to grow and find yourself. When you leave the program, you have tools.”
What are you most looking forward to on tour this year?
“I really want to meet Michelle Alexander when we’re in Columbus, Ohio. She’s a professor at Ohio State University, and she wrote a booked called ‘The New Jim Crow’ that highly influenced my senior solo. It’s about how African Americans are kept in an inferior position. She gave me the courage to speak my mind in spite of the subject matter. My dance is about young people being able to create solutions to their problems, even when it seems like there are none. I really hope she comes to see the show.”
How do you see yourself using your leadership training on this year’s tour?
“I surprised myself last year because I stepped out and did a lot. This year, I do that, but now I have to realize that a leader also shares responsibilities. That’s how things work efficiently. Let others lead and give them that opportunity.”
As part of your training this year, you’ve worked with several guest artists. What have you learned working with them?
“With T. Lang, I learned to say what I mean and mean what I say, to not be scared in my movement, and to do the work. With Leah Mann, I learned to be brave. Many times, being different comes with a cost, and it takes a lot of courage.”
How has your artistic voice influenced this year’s tour performance?
“When we’re creating pieces, I’m really direct with expressing what I see. I’m able to think ahead and clearly see and state what needs to be done.”
The theme of this year’s tour is ‘Stand Up.’ What do you stand for?
“This year on tour, I’m standing for all perspectives, for being open and not shutting anyone down before they express themselves. This is what I think about when I perform my senior solo in our tour show, which was inspired by Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.”
See Brianna and her peers in the final leg of their tour on Friday, June 26, 8 PM at Atlanta’s 7 Stages Theatre.