Rachel is an 18-year-old dancer who began training in our Collective Motion class. This is her first year dancing and touring with our Apprentice Corporation.
What has made the Apprentice Corporation unique from other dance experiences you’ve had?
“The environment here is so warm. When I first start things I tend to be nervous, but when I came here and met Jessica (my teacher) and everyone else, I wished I had gotten here earlier. I can feel my confidence growing, and I believe in myself. I am a better person.”
This is your first tour. What are you most looking forward to?
“I have stage fright sometimes, so on tour I want to performing in front of different groups of people and just let go. I’m also looking forward to spending time with everyone, to bonding and making connections.”
How is training for touring different than your regular dance training, and what have you learned about yourself in the process?
“Tour intensives are different because you have to push yourself more and be open to different ideas, to going further than what you’re used to. I’ve learned in this process that I am able to use my emotions to become a better dancer. Performing ‘Speak’ the other day, I was crying. The piece is about not being able to say something. When I perform the piece, I think about what I wish I would have said at certain times. The freedom to dance that is overwhelming.”
Leadership training is built into the curriculum at Moving in the Spirit. How do you see yourself standing out as a leader on tour?
“I will try to do my best always. I will believe that my voice matters and speak up when I need to. To be a good leader, you need to say what you need. I will also be open to everyone’s ideas. Their opinions matter too.”
What do you want audiences to take away from this year’s tour performance?
“Many of our pieces are about connections. I want people to know it’s okay to voice your opinions, because that’s how you connect. Don’t be passive or aggressive, be assertive.”
The theme of this year’s tour is ‘Stand Up.’ What do you stand for?
“I stand for being open, being able to talk about things that will better you. I stand for not being silent. That’s what I’m expressing when I perform the piece ‘Speak’ in our tour show.”
Come see Rachel and the tour team give an inspiring performance on Friday, June 26, 8 PM at 7 Stages Theatre.