The Art of Movement is a contemporary summer intensive boot-camp. Students are by invitation or audition. Only 120 are selected from all over the world to participate.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of their instructors to discuss the intensive as well as their philosophy of dance.
Pictured left to right: Melanie Creek, Jennifer Parsley, Peter Merz, Sherri Metcalf, Israel Rodriquez, Katia Garza and Tyler Muhlenkamp
What is your choreographic process?
Sherri Metcalf– Depending on the job but when I choreograph for a solo I learn about that dancer. I analyze their body and their strengths. I do a lot of research by watching them dance and through video footage of them dancing. I learn their personality and match them to music they would enjoy.
Israel Rodriquez– I study and listen to the music. I story board a whole ballet, I know where every dancer will be and at what time. I can see it. I put my dancers based upon their ability on the stage.
What is your most memorable dance moment?
Israel Rodriquez– When I danced Spartacus. It was the first time it had ever been choreographed in its entirety in the United States and I got to play Spartacus. I became that ballet!
Sherri Metcalf- As a little girl I went to Radio City music Hall and I said that I wanted to dance there. As an adult, it came true.
You have taught and worked with students and professionals, what can students learn from professionals?
Sherri Metcalf- Etiquette. Professionnel dancers have aquired a sense of professionalism that students can learn and apply now. Not being late for class, being dressed properly for class. Be accountable for your attitude.
Israel Rodriquez– Get past being a great dancer, your attitude is most important, it can take you far or leave you exactly where you are.
What makes a great dancer?
Sherri Metcalf- Did I feel something. It’s sometimes not even the best technical dancers. It’s who performs and makes the audience feel something.
Israel Rodriquez– Heart! Technically you can be great, but do you have heart?
If you could try a different style of dance, what would it be?
Israel Rodriquez– Tap Dance. I love tap! But they would kick me out!
Sherri Metcalf- Ballroom. I would love to learn the latin dances and partner.
Katia Garza- Ballroom. I could do it as I get older and enjoy it.
Three words to describe your class?
Israel Rodriquez- Disciplined, fun, and spontaneous
Sherri Metcalf– Discipline, safe, and creative
Katia Garza– Fun, fast, and hard
What is a big role you would like to dance?
Katia Garza– I have never danced Romeo and Juliet but I would love to dance Manon. It is a dramatic ballet and I love the acting and the complicated story. I would get to be a different character.
Have you noticed kids are getting better younger?
Katia Garza– Kids have easier access to watch ballets or dancer and try at home. When I was little, you had to wait for the teacher to show us. Now, kids have it all in front of them to learn. My concern is dancers and younger and careers are being shorter. Push your body but don’t burn it so you can have a long a beautiful career.
Sherri Metcalf– Kids used to be 15 doing 4 or 5 pirouettes and now they are 7 years old. My only worry is that kids will do too much too soon and they won’t have any goals as they will have achieved them all so early.
A what point do you consider yourself a successful dancer?
Katia Garza- It’s not money, you won’t be rich! Success is making my body do what I want it to do correctly. When I manage to control my body to where I don’t have to think about my body on stage, it does what it is supposed to do and I just go out and perform.
In closing if you could tell young dancers one piece of advice what would it be?
Katia Garza– Listen and apply. Don try to see only fast results. Absorb the information and apply the corrections.
Sherri Metcalf– Tradition- Be present in class, remember your dance etiquette and breathe! You don’t have to be so intense and serious all the time
Israel Rodriquez– Do not rush if you are injured. You won’t be able to dance better if you are rushing. Take your time, its better to wait a year, than ruin your career by pushing too soon.
To learn more about the Art of Movement Intensive Program Visit their website: Art Of Movement