Truly there are no actual days off. Any day I am not at Mickey and the Magical Map, I’m usually training and getting ready for the next audition. My favorite thing to do is take ballet class. Since most of my training has been in ballet, this always feels like home base for me. I really feel as if i’m getting back to my roots and it is a great workout 😉 Otherwise I will go to the gym or take a fitness class as well. I’m always active. Even when I’m sore and tired, my body usually feels better if I keep it moving.
Today I was able to take class from a friend of mine, Tasha Hamilton. Her and her mother Irina Hamilton, are definitely two of the best teachers around. Every time I take their class it is a challenge for me. I love that! Irina often works with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Anyone who knows me, knows how much this company means to me. To this day I believe that Alonzo forever changed my outlook on dance. I love the approach behind a ballet class that offers freedom and personal choice, which is definitely something they promote. Tasha’s class is very similar. She teaches just about every style from contemporary ballet, classical ballet, contemporary movement and even hip hop. By the way her brother is Misha Gabriel; so as you can see that is one talented family right there.
When Tasha teaches contemporary she normally begins class with a Gaga technique warmup. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this kind of dance, it began with an Israeli choreographer named Ohad Naharin. The movement vocabulary comes from words that indicate how your body parts should be initiated. A lot of it is very circular and requires a lot of imagery. It’s rather fascinating. I first learned of this kind of dance in College from a Professor and mentor of mine named Juan Carlos Claudio. He will always be dear to me. Anyway, back to today’s class…
After we improvised a bit more, we started to learn her combo. The music (Haunted) is from Beyonce’s new album. It was very musical and had some great technique in it; this is usually the case with Tasha’s movement. I love it! We also got to improvise a bit before and after the combo. I am definitely never opposed to this. It’s funny how much i’ve grown to love it over the years, when I almost hated it before College. Eventually we broke up into groups and I even was lucky enough to dance a duet with Rory Freeman. He has danced with both Shaping Sound and the company Momix. By the end of class Tasha put together a group of us to film the piece she had created. Rory, Jardon Derrick, Collin Lawrence and I danced together, finishing with over a minute long of a group improvisation. Wow what an experience!
To view the recording from class, click below.
Although I only took class at Millennium today, often I will be hanging out at Movement Lifestyle or Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio. For those of you not familiar with the area, all of these studios are in the same vicinity. Oh along with Liv’ Art! These locations are only eight to ten minutes from my house in North Hollywood. The Edge and IDA are a bit further but definitely worth the drive. How lucky we are to have access to so many amazing classes?! It may be different from having a schedule in school and being required to train every day; yet I find myself always wanting to go to class to grow and improve and really just meet people!
Thanks for watching! ❤