The Dynamic Duo
Friday night at the studio; Shelley’s pointe class in Studio 1 is going strong and looking so good I am a little awed . Corey, Ellie, and I are back in Studio 3 about to convert my Tallis from a trio into a duet. It’s been a long week for all three of us, and we are doing a lot more talking than dancing. And soon we are just laughing, petting my dog, Hooper, and doing some pretend stretching. We go on like this for a while, and then I realize we need to get work done as the younger members of MDC will soon be here for their portion of rehearsal.
It’s nice to be so relaxed, we are only performing two MDC numbers in the Spotlight Winter Showcase. It’s a great vibe for our dance family, working together for a good cause (Spotlight Scholarship Fund) with plenty of time to polish the dances.
Not a lot of pressure, but I do need to transpose the trio. Finally, I am ready to work. Corey and Ellie are right there, ready and willing to do anything. For ten years now, they have been dancing with me. In fact, Corey has been with me for twenty years. It’s been an incredible dance collaboration. Both are incredible jumpers, and emotionally open performers. Corey has power, Ellie a lyrical strength. But their biggest gifts are their generous spirits and and their willingness to try anything. I have jokingly called them my body for years. My back blew up years ago and I am plagued with issues ever since; both have been assisting in more advanced classes for many years. It is no exaggeration to say that without Corey and Ellie, I would not still be teaching. I would certainly not be choreographing; the opportunity to create the Moore Dance Company would have never happened. Corey has been with me so long, that sometimes a simple gesture from me is all she needs for a full movement to be born.
She brings the added bonus of remembering choreography from years ago, and the ability to share it and help me tweak it. Both women are fearless. When I say “do you think it’s possible...”, Ellie and Corey always think it is. I have crazy dance dreams, and then come into the studio and say things like “ in my mind I see...” and soon my vision is alive before my eyes. I have created solos on both women and it is truly amazing how quickly the dances come together. More amazing, is the fun I have; I laugh more in these rehearsals than anywhere else in my life, (though my Thursday night Adult class is a strong second). But something truly fantastic happens when Corey and Ellie dance together. Yes, it’s true that their bodies, talent and high technical level are well matched. But it is their open hearted approach to dance, to me and each other that create the magic. Ellie and Corey will try anything. If they collide, fall, or forget what they are doing, it’s a cause for laughter; not blame or annoyance.
They are honest about who they are and where they are that day, and dance accordingly. That kind of authenticity is rare, and I am so happy and grateful that the younger members of the company have such incredible role models. My young dancers are seeing firsthand the fun of working hard, with no backstabbing or pettiness the sheer joy of creating something beautiful together.
We managed again to laugh through rehearsal and finish the duet. I will miss Rebecca dancing Tallis at the Showcase, but the opportunity to create a duet was wonderful. (I hope to see Tallis as many iterations, it still needs to be a solo, and maybe someday it will be a large group piece again.) And as always, once we started working we were done in record time. Honestly, I don’t think I actually did one step; I sat on the floor, made suggestions and watched two dancing soulmates bring my ideas to life.
Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks; a perfect time to say thank you to these two women: my bodies, my inspirations, my dancers, my friends.