This month, CDS had a chance to catch up with Dani McGowan during her rehearsal for “Flight” at the Chicago Academy for the Arts High School. Here’s what Dani shared during her interview with Ashley Rockwood, including what she learned about herself and others during her first choreographic experience.
I’m really excited. I’m so happy with it. I had no idea that it would, like, turn into something so exciting. I’m so proud of it. It’s such a fulfilling experience and I’m so proud of my dancers.
Well, I wanted something that felt really different from a lot of the things we do. So, I wanted to do try to do something more like a contemporary ballet and I wanted to just, incorporate a lot of the things that like I see when I go to a lot of shows you know, like that, pull you in. I feel like it’s kind of about coming into your own and finding yourself through your maturity like just as you get older.
So, the balloon is like, it’s something that you hold on to, like a part of you that you always want to keep that with you, like an important part. Throughout the piece there’s a lot of circular…like the arms. So, it’s like, even though you’re not holding that, balloon, it’s still like a part of you.
All the seniors choreograph a piece or two. And this year, there are six seniors. And there’s going to be ten pieces. That’s really exciting.
It’s been so much fun to see…it’s a group of six girls so it’s been really fun to see the girls I’ve grown up with…you feel like you learn so much about them, like through their piece, things you didn’t even know even though I’m like with them every day of the week!
So, it’s been really interesting and it’s a really exciting show. There’s a ton of different stuff. I have this piece and then I have a jazzy, upbeat piece which is super fun, and then there’s like a bunch of different things. There’s a duet, and then there’s some contemporary, there’s some jazz, there’s just a bunch of different stuff. I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be a really fun and different show.
It’s just like, I didn’t think that I would be…I was like, ok, I just feel like at my first rehearsal I was like you have to be patient, you just like have to understand that like everything in your head doesn’t…is not going to make sense to them at first. So, just going through that… I’ve been really proud of myself how I’ve been able to like, keep my cool. I mean, they’re so good. They just like, listen to whatever I say, and they’re like OK, and I’m like, Oh! OK! Let’s do it! …they’re so sweet. So it’s been awesome. Yeah, just like learning from them and learning how to teach and…just learning how to be in the space and be in charge.
So, our show is January 22 and 23 at Ruth Page.
Choreography: Dani McGowan.
Dancers: Morgan Clune, Chloe Ricke, Gianna Rotkvich, Giselle Diaz, Sasha Bass-Ulmer, Kahlyl Wrather, Zachary Jeppsen, Evan Boersma
Chicago Academy for the Arts
Senior Choreographed Dance Show
January 22-23, 2016
Ruth Page Center for the Arts
Tickets available at
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