Dance life Q&A: Advice for the stage

“We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once.” 

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Being able to dance and being able to perform are very different things. It’s like singing in the shower and singing in front of an audience (I know the line blurs because I’ve seen William Hung on American Idol).

With that in mind, and the Baila Boogaloo showcase on Sunday, we ask the BB team for performance advice. Also, I’ve added a few tokens of wisdom from a few dancers that I’ve interviewed:

“One of the things my artistic director in Winnipeg, Arnold Spohr, said was, ‘Real stars never rush.’ Whatever tempo it is that you’re running in, you should have that sense of, ‘Look at the joy coming out of me right now.’” – Evelyn Hart, former prima ballerina for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Performing is all about self-discipline and preparation. Pre-stage: rehearse, visualize, repeat (hence, the gruelling practices). On-stage: Relax, listen to the music, be in the moment. And smile. – Melissa Leong

Even if I like the choreography or [not], my biggest challenge is to [get] the public to understand what I want to say. To make the public happy, to make them touched by what I am doing. When you’re on stage, you forget it all and give yourself to you work. – Mikhail Kaniskin, principal with the Berlin State Opera Ballet

Focus on the routines, enjoy the moment and remember: after all the hard work, I’m part of a team that’s on stage because we absolutely love it. – Joanna Lavoie, teacher/performer with Baila Boogaloo

To be a performer, you must be passionate about what it is you are performing. Have confidence with style and grace.  You must always feel like a shining star… because you are! – Grace Galvez, teacher/performer with Baila Boogaloo and member of the world renown Hawaiian Pacific Magic

Random factoid: After every show, the dancers from Burn The Floor stand in a bin of ice up to their thighs.

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