By Moscelyne ParkeHarrison
Spring Break: It’s the rest that is needed after a short yet intense part of second semester, a time to rejuvenate and reflect on the upcoming spring repertoire performances, the chance to reconnect with my family, and a stressful time of waiting for results of summer program auditions and prepping for the last spurt of the year.
This Spring Break I am excited to have a mini vacation in Charleston, South Carolina, where my family will celebrate my parent’s birthdays. I love Charleston because it is warm, inviting in its southern charm, full of amazing food, and offers a perfect location for biking and exploring on foot. Rejuvenation and family reunion, check.
After my trip to Charleston that I will teach two workshops with my good friend and classmate Sean. I am excited and nervous for this for a number of reasons. I initiated the organization of the workshop entitled: “Distilling Dance”, after reconnecting with the founder of my original dance studio in the Berkshires this summer at Jacobs Pillow. We discussed the elements of dance training that I have carried with me throughout my life, and the things which I wished I had learned in my early training. After months of back and forth we set a date, time, and appropriate premise for a workshop that myself and Sean would teach at the Berkshire studio (which I attended from the beginning of my dance training until I moved to upstate New York in 9th grade). I also connected with the Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs (my other dance training before I went to boarding school) and organized to bring the same workshop to their upper level students. Needless to say I am nervous to return to both of these institutions which have shaped my life as a dancer, and set a foundation for which I have worked to build upon. But I am also excited to share lessons which have become valuable to me as a dancer.
The objective of the workshop is to expand the minds and bodies of young dancers through the exploration of his/her own range of motion. Sean and I aim to instill a sense of the inquisitive nature required of making dance as well as a new sensitivity to art and the creative process. With a loose frame in place, each dancer/thinker will be free explore how he/she fits into the workshop as an individual. Individualism, and embodying movement are two of the most important things I have carried with me throughout my dance training. Yet they were both things that I learned by sifting through clouded information and often confusing notes from instructors. They are lessons I learned while in an audition room, or when faced with a new choreographic process.
Spring Break also reminds me of the most pivotal part of my life: my Juilliard audition. After planning this workshop, and having to articulate what I consider to be fundamental elements of what I have learned in my time at Juilliard and beyond, I believe that I can now pin down the elements that helped me through that day. The thing I remember most clearly about my audition was that I left not caring about my results, because I already felt fulfilled. I was confident that I had shown myself through my dancing, and that no matter the results I had discovered how to dance for my own enjoyment and peace of mind. I now channel this spirit in every audition, and try to communicate it to young dancers.