Kai Lewis, 17, graduated from high school this past May. This fall she will attend Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois for vocal performance. Kai has been with Moving in the Spirit since she was 8 years old.
Starting in the Junior Company program, Kai worked tirelessly until she was able to audition for the Apprentice Corporation when she was 14. After her first year with them, she was invited to go on tour to Panama. “I was the baby of the group,” says Kai. “It was my first tour with the Apprentice Corporation. When I went, I was with a group that had all gone on tour before. It was really hard because we were out of the country, the weather was different, I was away from my parents. We didn’t have cell phones and internet so we couldn’t talk to them all the time. But, now, it’s gotten easier.”
Previous experience on tour has enabled Kai to reconnect with alumni and connect with newer members of the Apprentice Corporation. “I really look up to Tenesia [a Moving in the Spirit alumna],”says Kai. “I loved being able to catch up with her. Since her time here, she has grown, had life experiences and has a new outlook on dance that encourages us. Because she was in it, Tenesia helped set 101 on us. We got to pass it on to new dancers, like Julia. That girl is a powerhouse!”
Along with adjusting to life on the road, the dancers must learn an entire repertoire of dances. They work hard during their school breaks and summer weekdays preparing for the show. By midsummer, the dancers have not only learned new works, but also are closer to each other. “It’s hard to get to know all of the dancers during the school year,” says Kai, “so we really get to know each other more during the summer intensive. Everyone is capable of displaying leadership and they help each other out.”
This year, Kai has had the opportunity to collaborate with choreographers Jessica Gaines and Crystal Faison to create her senior solo, Moved. “I knew I wanted to make the piece about my life,” says Kai. “We just talked about my life over dinner. We workshopped some movement and made some material. I didn’t know what was going on sometimes, but it turned out really great.
The Apprentice Corporation will be performing this summer in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia.
“I want the audiences to take away a sense of fearlessness,” says Kai. “I really mean it. In order to prepare for this show, it took a lot of fearlessness to make it happen. We couldn’t stop trusting each other because we might be dropped during a dance, we just get into the choreography and make the show awesome!”
You can see Kai and her tour team members perform in Atlanta on June 27, 2014 at 8 PM at 7 Stages Theatre. Purchase your tickets online with discount code TOURSPIRIT by 6/25 and save 15%!