I have to apologize to any faithful blog readers! I have been back from New York City from two whole weeks, and I have not had a minute to write a blog post. In fact, I should be working on a column for Movmnt magazine or editing for a client right now, but I figured I better right something soon or no one would bother continuing to read this blog!
Re-entry into normal life in California was a bit odd for Julian and I. We really found it quite odd to be back home after seven weeks in the city. That said, life was not normal. My stepson arrived just one and a half days after we got back, and Julian immediately went back to taking evening classes at Teen Dance Company. Plus, we had to juggle my daughters internship schedule, which took her in the opposite direction to the University of California-Santa Cruz; TDC is in Mountain View in the valley. Between doing things with my stepson and reacclimating to driving every day and every which way, my work began to pile up. It was a bit crazy.
The first full weekend we were home, Julian received a text message from a fellow TDC company member asking if he was auditioning for Mark Froehringer‘s Nutcracker in San Francisco. Well…we had thought about doing so, but it wasn’t on my radar…at all. In fact, I haven’t been using my daytimer at all. So, we jumped up and showered and drove like a bat out of hell into San Francisco.
Now, the woman who choreographed the Nutcracker Julian was in last year has already been emailing us as well. She’d like him back, although at 5’7″ or more, I think he’s a bit tall for Fritz. (She says he can do more this year; last year he also did the Russian dance.)
Give me a break, though…summer’s not even over and we are thinking about a performance that happens in December. And for Julian, it’s another hard choice: Dance with friends or dance with a professional company. (He was asked to do some awesome partnering during the audition in San Francisco…) For my husband and I, it’s also a hard choice: an hour and a half drive to San Francisco every Friday and Sunday from mid-September until mid-December. (And I was all excited that my daughter is giving up swimming, which means we finally have Friday’s free, since TDC doesn’t have classes on Friday.)
Anyway…back to NYC. I promised to tell you about the great teachers Julian danced with there, in case you should happen to find yourself at Broadway Dance Center. Some of the ones he liked the best were guest teaches, however. By far, he enjoyed contemporary classes with Slam the most. Slam, otherwise known as Salim Gauwloos brings to his teaching and choreography not only his technical ballet training but also his experience as a dancer with Madonna. Yes, he was a big MTV star and her touring dance partner. Yet, he now choreographs for the likes of ABT and the Orlando Ballet. Julian took three classes with him, and loved his choreography and working with him. It didn’t hurt that Salim noticed him and commented on his technique, even using him to demonstrate in the second and third class. (Sorry…had to brag a bit.)
Staying in the contemporary vein, he really enjoyed a class with James Tabeek, who was in the 1st national tour of the Broadway show Wicked, and appeared on Broadway in Taboo and Beauty and the Beast.
Julian took two jazz classes with BDC favorite and staple Sheila Barker. He adored her class and her. She came out and gave me a hug and a kiss just for being Julian’s mother! (By the way…I got a hug and a kiss from Slam as well, which I think I enjoyed more.) He worked super hard in her class and she corrected him a lot. I highly recommend her class to anyone wanting to take jazz. (By the way, I think I mentinoed that Julian took two Broadway jazz classes at Alvin Ailey with Sue Samuels, mother of tapper Jason Samuels Smith. They were fabulous as well, and I highly recommend her and a trip to Alvin Ailey if you can make it. However, she teaches beginner classes at BDC.)
On to hip hop, which Julian had the most fun taking at BDC. He tried several class, always looking for “old-school” hip hop rather than “MTV” hip hop. He loved classes with Bam and Leslie Feliciano and Kelly Peters. He also enjoyed one with Luam, although that wasn’t as old school as he enjoys. These classes were all packed…I mean packed. Luam’s class had 72 people in the studio at one time. (Again, he was sorry not to take Jared Grimes class, but he was away.)
I’ve already covered tap; check older posts for information on that. Julian really didn’t do any tap the last week — and no ballet. He had done those two art forms for six weeks. He stuck with contemporary, jazz and hip hop that final week in New York. And he had a blast and got great feed back from almost all the teachers at BDC. He kept up in even the most advanced classes, and his newly-improved technique was noticed. So, overall, a success all the way around.
Plus, he returned home without injury. The heel issue healed up and never came back. He never had another bout of dehydration. Success.
This week he completed six hours of dance per day again. TDC had its annual summer dance intensive. He also took a master class at a local studio taught by Sonya Tayeh of So You Think You Can Dance fame. We had met her in New York City. He had his picture taken with her, and it’s now his Facebook profile photo. How cute is that?
The TDC intensive culminated on Friday with auditions for the company. Unfortunately, a few of last year’s members didn’t return, but we have some great new dancers who auditioned and made it into the company. The company is still a bit small, but we hope to gain a few more in the next few weeks or in December. (If you know any teens in the Bay Area – CA looking for a great studio that focuses on dance as an art form and on contemporary, modern and classical ballet, please send them to TDC for an audition. They can still join the company, although they might not be in all the peformance pieces this fall.) The kids also study tap, pilates and a little jazz and hip hop.
Julian is in the company again, and he made it into the first three pieces of choreography, so he is very happy. He will miss a few of his friends who didn’t return this year, but he actually has a few friends joining him from other studios that he knows. So, I hope it will be a great year for him.
Today he’s in the studio all day learning choreography fo ra modern piece. Tomorrow the same. This week, he will miss most of the tap festival in San Francisco to attend choreography sessions at TDC instead, but we might get a few classes in if he’s lucky. It had been our plan to attend most of the week.
Oh, and I’m waiting for MRI results on my twisted knee from that first weekend in NYC. So, think some positive thougths for me!
Okay…that gets you up to date. Off to a running start. I never even got a chance to catch my breath.
Next, a post not from me but form someone from Julians distant past…and then one from Denise Wall!