Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The great update, continued... - September 17, 2008

The great update continues....

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March (My work in "China" and Chicago):

So randomly, I have a friend I went to college with named Andy, and a little known fact about Andy is that his dad is the contractor for the acrobats that perform in the China Pavilion at Epcot. Well, recently we had regained contact after a few years of being apart, and he found out I was performing at Disney right next to where he was working with his father's acrobatic troupe. He was working on the troupe, trying to get them to be a little more balletic in their movements, so he hired me to teach them dance classes every week, as well as choreograph a new hoop act for one of the girls. Mae Wong, the hoop girl, was so incredibly talented, and we had SO much fun working together, despite a VAST language barrier. (Andy served as our interpreter)

So, armed with the music he chose, and little to no experience with hoops, I set to work, and we created a gorgeous hoop act! (When I get the video, I'll post it) Not to be immodest, but she performs it so well and is so beautiful, I can't help but be proud! I had SO much fun teaching the little acrobat boys as well. They didn't understand a word of what I was saying, but would follow anything I did loyally. At one point, during a break, I saw a boy, just messing around, do a turning leap that I never taught him, just for the joy of the movement! It was so cute!

I also flew up to Chicago to shoot a wedding with Cheryl. Since January, my photography business has really picked up, and while I was in Chicago I worked on my website with my friend and webmaster, Corey. I also got some business cards designed, so I'm feeling pretty official now! (Although my website STILL isn't up, as of June... *sigh*)

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April (The Audition Month, and my first Magazine Shoot!):

The month started and ended with auditions... the first one was the most comical (and difficult) audition of my life! First, was a cruise ship audition for dancers who would like to be trained as aerialists. It sounded like the perfect audition for me! (Although I wasn't sure that I was interested in going on another cruise ship...)

So we show up and are instructed to put on heels. To begin, also, there were only 9 people there, so it should have gone quickly, or so I thought. They had us do, one by one, some turns and kicks and some really easy steps... if you weren't in heels. But since we were, they were really difficult. (For example, next time you're in your character heels, try to penche and let me know how far you get) Then, we did the usual two combinations, then there was a cut, which left four of us behind. Then we did some improvisation, the same two dance combinations again, but this time, they wanted us to pick one of the judges out and make eye contact with them the whole time. (What??) Then... we SANG.

Now, NOWHERE on the audition flyer did they mention singing. No no, just dancing. So not only do they spring the singing part on us, they knew we hadn't prepared anything, so they gave us a song to sing. What song, you ask? None other than the STAR SPANGLED BANNER- one of the hardest songs to sing, even for a trained singer.

So, we struggle though it. One girl wasn't even from the US, so she sang her national Australian anthem. (She could have made it up, for all we know...) By this time, a few hours after we arrived, we figured this was it. No no, there was more. The head person had us come out and stand in the middle of the dance floor and NOT MOVE. "Don't move.... don't you move..." he kept saying.... nerve wracking... Then, he asked each of us about our aerial experience, then said..... "Ok, get down and give me 25 pushups."


I guess this is normal for aerialist auditions, but I didn't expect it in the LEAST. And little did I know that, under the right circumstances, I too could do 25 push ups, followed by V-Ups (really hard full-body crunches), a handstand, a back bend, and different stretches in various positions to test our flexibility all at one audition. I couldn't believe I even survived.

And on top of all that.... I ended up getting the job. (Hilarious) They ended up calling me a month later and offering me a position on a brand new cruise ship out of Europe! But I had to turn it down for a couple very important reasons... (reasons to be revealed later....)

The next auditions were in Chicago for three dance companies, Luna Negra, Melissa Thodos, and River North. They were all great, and were challenging and fun, but I came to a very important and life-changing realization that weekend. I realized that all my life I had wanted to be in a dance company, but now that I had been immersed in the world of commercial dance for so long at Disney that I was truly happy where I was and what field I was in. I loved that artistic field of dance companies as well, but my heart and talent was more comfortable now in the commercial realm. This was a really hard realization to make, but at the same time a really satisfying one. I realized that I was completely fulfilled and happy where I was at Disney, and while I still need to push myself to the next level of dance, where ever that may be, a dance company was not my end-all-be-all as I always thought it would be. (Sooner then I ever would have imagined, the next 'level' of my career was upon me.... but that also will be revealed... later...)

(Oh, also, while in Chicago, I shot a dance company for my sister called the Leopold Group to be published with their article in Dance Spirit Magazine! It was in the August edition, and it was a couple pages featuring pictures by me and my sister!!!)

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Alright kids, stay tuned.... we're ALMOST caught up.... sort of. We gotta get through the summer and we'll be done!!


At 3:43 PM, Blogger ML said...

Go Selena Go! I love reading your posts!


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