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Different Movers, Different Methods, Different Results

 In Dance Training

Submitted by Austin Price, CCD Pre-Professional Program dancer and apprentice faculty member.

We asked Austin Price to reflect on her experience as a participating dancer and innovator in CCD’s Movement Lab 2021. 

If we were all the same, then the world wouldn’t be a very interesting place. This is a saying that my mom taught me at a very young age, and it is a saying that is applicable in every aspect of my life. Especially in my art as a dancer. I have been dancing for 15 years and despite the countless experiences and projects I have done with different choreographers, I can safely say that every single experience has been unique. 

When I was younger, different choreographic processes seemed intimidating and confusing. To me, choreography was something a teacher would teach you, and you would mimic their movements to create art. Little did I know that a lot more goes into creating movement than the audience, sponsors, and even the dancers themselves will ever appreciate. To choreograph is to create art that can be displayed and experienced by others while also leaving a lasting impact on all involved. 

As I have grown as an artist, I have had the opportunity to experience countless variations on ways to choreograph. I have shared meaningful experiences with my choreographers and fellow dancers as we journey through creating movement to share with the world. Every process is different, making every result different. This summer, I have gotten to experience several different ways of exploring oneself and building movement off of that exploration. 

For example, in Movement Lab these past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to work with Dominic Walsh, a renowned dancer and choreographer. In one of our flex classes, we spent the entire time dancing with a wall. Sharing weight, relying on, and partnering with something that we see everyday created a work of art. Exploring different possibilities of dancing with the wall allowed us to reach out of our comfort zones and experiment with new ways of choreographing. 

Another technique we explored with Dominic Walsh was creating movement by focusing on two specific parts of the body, and the relationship between them. For example, we connected our right shoulder with our left knee and moved based on their spatial relationship to one another and the interactions this connection caused. Whether the two body parts were separating and uniting, or mimicking and ignoring, they had an active connection that remained constant throughout the experience. 

As I continue to grow as a dancer and choreographer, I am certain many more techniques and methods will be introduced. The best part about so many different options is the endless possibilities and results that come from choreographing in such intricate ways. While I may enjoy some methods more than others, I will always enjoy learning new ways to explore, create, and perform. 

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