It's February, Already??

As an artist the tendency is (many times) to be reclusive and introverted. Working on such a major project as "The Torn Veil" any "issue" in my personal life (work, family, love, or otherwise) sends me running to hide under the covers. Hiding, of course, never solves anything. Fortunately, the other production staff of the musical are great, kindred spirits who regularly offer prayers and a willing ear. I am working on becoming a better verbal communicator. Although dance and writing are excellent outlets for stress, etc., it is definitely not healthy to keep one's feelings to oneself all the time. Unfortunately, this revelation is too late to repair the damage done to my relationship to a most beloved "friend" but I march onward with experience under my belt. And enough about me!

"The Torn Veil" premier is quickly approaching and March will be here before we know it! Tickets are currently on sale at or at the National Hispanic Cultural Center box office. Like any new endeavor we have seen our share of triumphs and struggles. Just a couple short weeks ago one of our choreographers/performers was forced to drop out of the show for personal reasons. The blessing, however, has been in the not one but three extremely talented choreographers (literally) jumping in to take her place. It has also presented an opportunity for the dancers to step back and learn new choreography. We have been working with the majority of the cast since October creating and perfecting the various scenes... now the dancers are able to get excited about the show again.

This past week I stepped back to consider my plan of attack in rehearsals. To keep the choreography "fresh" I had them dance to completely different music. I do this all the time on my own for a challenge and for fun. It was a great blessing to see that the upbeat music brought new energy and smiles (!) as they danced. The show is nearly upon us and I also wanted to take all the dancers' to the next level as far as technique. It came to my attention that only two of them actually take Ballet classes and so began Ballet "boot camp." We went back to square one beginning rehearsal with a complete Ballet barre rather than the usual warm-up. Sending home the concepts of proper arm placement and pointed toes to the inexperienced dancers will still take some time but it looks like we are going in the right direction.

Initially, dealing with so many different levels of experience was daunting. In many cases there are mixed levels of expertise in a single piece and choreographing to accomodate those levels was a challenge. An interesting dynamic has presented itself between the experienced and inexperienced dancers. The inexperienced have an opportunity to learn from their dancer peers who many times have a different way of wording a critique or demonstrating a movement which proves to be helpful. On the other hand we all have much to learn from the inexperienced dancers. Their humility and willingness to ask for help are things that we "old pros" need to consider. It is so easy to think (after 25+ years in the dance world) that you know everything. However, no matter what the medium, we are never through learning until we are dead. I am hoping to impress this concept on my dancers as well as myself.

Five weeks left!



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Jenn's books

Mansfield Park
An Assembly Such as This
Eight Cousins
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Little House in the Big Woods
A Little Princess
The Captive
On the Night of the Seventh Moon
The India Fan
Mistress of Mellyn
The Hiding Place
Anne of Green Gables
The Apothecary's Daughter
Redeeming Love
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Diary of a Young Girl
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
I Know What You're Thinking: Using the Four Codes of Reading People to Improve Your Life
A Room with a View
Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon

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