“Even though the dance world is competitive, here [at Moving in the Spirit] it’s kind of like a big family,” says Joni, a member of Moving in the Spirit’s Apprentice Corporation.
Joni has danced with Moving in the Spirit for seven years, four of them as a member of the advanced Apprentice Corporation. The past two years, Joni has earned a competitive spot as part of the summer touring company. The intensive rehearsals spent preparing for tour have shown Joni that her classmates are a lot more goofy than she’d originally thought. “When you’re in a space and you’re all combined and it’s hot and sweaty, they just say the craziest things.”
Joni enjoys working together with her classmates to make tour possible. Every student has a job on tour. She has dubbed herself ‘costume goddess’ for this tour, as she did on her first tour. She describes the job as explosive. “When people get off stage, they’re rushing to put on their other costumes so they take it off and throw it anywhere. I found costumes under the bed and along the hall.”
Rehearsing for tour, Joni most enjoyed the choreography taught by guest artists visiting Moving in the Spirit. “They’re just giving us this gift” Joni says “They’re heading into a room of people they don’t know and trying to teach them – and that’s kind of amazing.”
Joni thought it was interesting to see the differences and similarities between the guest artists’ styles of movement. “They all have different ways of moving,” Joni says. “T. Lang came and talked to us and while I enjoyed her as a choreographer and a guest artist, I cannot move the way she moves her body with the counts – she has it!”
Joni’s favorite piece in the tour repertoire is Thin Wire, a piece about moving through grief in your own time.
Joni is most looking forward to going back to Berea, Kentucky. The Apprentice Corporation went to Berea College last year and the dancers made many friends there. “Hopefully we’ll get to see more of our friends at Berea. It was amazing.”
Joni hopes audiences leave the tour performances with one piece hitting them hard. “In a nice way though.” Joni says “I want them to feel connected to one dance or one movement or one something and be like – ‘I feel that’.”
Joni and the tour team are performing 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%!