A Choreographer’s Story: How Kelly Clarkson changed my life

By Shannon Holst | April, 27, 2016 | 0 comments

I have vivid memories of making up dances for my sister and I to “perform” in our basement from the time I was about 8-years-old. Whether it was new floor routines for gymnastics or a jazz dance to the latest pop hit, I was always creating.

The first dance that I choreographed to hit the stage with real costumes and real dancers, was my Sophomore year of high school to a Kelly Clarkson song, “A Moment Like This.” I co-choreographed this dance with a good friend for our Orchesis troupe. We edited the music, chose our dancers, picked out the perfect costume, and worked together to create the choreography. It was the first time that I was playing the role of choreographer.

With the guidance of our Director, we did it! Looking back on it now, whoa, it was extremely challenging! But from that year on, I always choreographed for our Orchesis troupe, sometimes on my own and sometimes with a friend. Those dances truly laid the foundation for my choreography experiences in the future.

In college, dance majors are typically required to take choreography classes and many times, choreograph for a student-created show. Being that I had already played that role before entering college, I had so much more confidence in my abilities.

My college courses and professors helped me refine my choreography style. Through those classes and performances, I found my voice and was able to tap into a place within me that I didn’t even know I had.

Now, as the Artistic Director and primary choreographer for my own studio and competitive group, I am forever thankful for all of the choreography experiences I had prior to this. Those experiences helped me:

  • Learn to manage my dancers
  • Efficiently run rehearsal
  • Organize my thoughts and choreography
  • Put a vision to what I want my pieces to look and feel like

I find myself constantly growing as a choreographer and pulling inspiration from different places. Martha Graham said,

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

It is the same when you are working as a choreographer and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spread my wings at such a young age.

We are SO excited to announce our 1st annual Student Choreographic Showcase at ASA! Students age 8 and up are invited to participate in this unique experience. Students choose music, costumes, and choreography with the guidance of #ASA faculty to create a very special performance you won’t want to miss!

  • Choreographers must be enrolled in at least Ballet II.
  • You do NOT need to choreograph to be part of the show – DANCERS NEEDED!

Contact the office for an audition application or if you have questions – 630.326.9600 or info@astepaboveacademy.net.

studentshowcase

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