Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stage One - Another One Bites the Dance

Rachel Dolan demonstrates a bit of choreography to
the Stage One students.
The students of Stage One work hard. For eight hours a day, five days a week, these students are acting, singing, and dancing their hearts out essentially nonstop. There are a few merciful breaks worked in here and there for essentials like food, water, and bathroom breaks, but the work is difficult, demanding, and constant. So as the day comes to an end each weekday, one can imagine the last thing these talented young men and women might want to do is something physical. Too bad for them, because yesterday their master class to close out the day was a musical theatre dance workshop with the noted Rachel Dolan.
Stage One students warm up under
Rachel's direction.

Rachel Dolan is a musical theatre choreographer based in Washington, DC.  Some of her credits include work at Keegan Theatre: Cabaret (Helen Hayes Nomination, Outstanding Choreography, Broadway World Award) and Hair (Helen Hayes Recommended); Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre: Seussical. Rachel’s musical theatre and jazz choreography have appeared in showcases in New York City, Washington, DC and internationally.  As a teacher, Rachel has trained thousands of students in Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. Her students’ credits include the Radio City Rockettes, Mary Poppins and White Christmas, Equity national tours, numerous cruise ships and theme parks, and renowned college programs across the country.  She is currently on faculty at Metropolitan School of the Arts and a recent guest teacher for Joy of Motion, American University and Catholic University.  
Caleigh stretches before starting in on "Another One Bites
the Dust".
During her hour long workshop, Rachel worked a sequence set to "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. As the students were learning the steps, Rachel reminded them that auditions, particularly dance auditions, are an opportunity to present oneself as a dancer. From the way one answers questions to how somebody enters the room and holds the space, there are ways in which a performer can convey what it is they are good at and where their strengths lie. If one wishes to be considered and read as as dancer by directors and casting teams then they should always be ready to have a movement or response to a prompt; physical or otherwise. Performers should be able to show the ability to think on the fly and be open to learning.

Stage One hits all the right steps during
"Another One Bites the Dust".
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