Meet the Entrepreneur Fellow and Production Assistant 3/30/2021
Last month we launched our inaugural Dance Entrepreneur Fellowship Program. Keep reading to learn more about our 2 wonderful fellows!
Canadian dance artist Maddie Hanson is a graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, accepted at the age of 16. She has performed repertory by Martha Graham, José Limón, Mark Morris, Crystal Pite, Jiri Pokorny, and RUBBERBANDance Group, and is currently a company dancer with Wyckoff Collective. Her choreographic work has been presented at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, DUMBO Dance Festival, and the APAP Conference. She was commissioned for MOVE(NYC)’s 2019 Young Professionals program, Joffrey Ballet School’s 2019-2020 Emerging Choreographer Series, and is a recipient of the 2019 Dance Ontario Creative Partnership. In 2020, she was awarded a CreativAction Open Space residency at The National Ballet of Canada, and was selected as a 2020 Emerging Choreographer with Springboard Danse Montréal. In 2021, she has created a short film for BalletX’s 15th Anniversary Season, taught with SoulEscape, and has worked on commissions with DART DSP (Berlin), Kit Modus, and Company | E. Maddie is represented by bloc NYC.
“I am very happy to be working with Reaction Dance Company as the inaugural Dance Entrepreneur Fellow! I am looking forward to broadening my experience and skills in business and arts administration, and to aid in producing exciting content and performances in the months ahead.”
- Do you have a favorite music artist?
- I have a few! My go-tos are Nils Frahm, A Winged Victory For the Sullen, James Blake and Drake!
- What 3 qualities are important for an artist to possess?
- Humility, work ethic and tenacity.
- What is your dream travel destination?
- New Zealand
- What is the last book you read?
- The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
- A fun fact about you:
- I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings… I even collect the LEGO!
Production Assistant: Eva Sol
Eva Sol is a passionate, well-rounded dancer with a multi-style diverse background. Based in New York, Eva has been training, choreographing, teaching and performing with various companies all around the city for 8+ years. Although she has received training in multiple styles, she focused on and excelled in Ballet, Pointe, Hip-Hop, Salsa on 2, Bachata, Belly Dance, Heels dancing, and Gymnastics. She has danced with companies such as House of Pumps, Códari Dance Company, and is now a new member of Reaction Dance Company! As an instructor, Eva has an exceptional ability to assess and teach to her students’ needs, and is goal-orientated to their improvement. She has taught at studios such as Cali Salsa Pal Mundo NYC, Gym-Azing, and additionally teaches private dance lessons. Her talent has placed her in the salsa club scenes in the film, “In The Heights” releasing summer 2021, and on multiple stages across New York, including Alvin Ailey- Spotlight Productions, Billie Jean National Tennis Court, Dance Parade NYC, National Animal Rights Day, The Queen of Hearts Dance Cruise, Tony Bennett Concert Hall, Queens Night Market, and more.
“It is a pleasure to work with Reaction Dance Company! Not only as a company member but as the Productions Assistance on the admin side as well! I am eager to learn more about the behind the scenes world of dance, and am excited to use my skills in technical applications to work with Reaction Dance Company.”
- What motivates you to work harder?
- What motivates me to work harder is the joy felt after attaining a goal that demanded so much from me. I also reiterate this quote for motivation: “Self-discipline is doing all of the little things you don’t want to do because they are needed to make the future life you want.”
- If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
- 1903, to see the beginning of aviation with the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight take off!
- What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
- Paragliding! I ran off a mountain top over a beautiful beach in Greece, trusting a parachute to lift me.
- What is your favorite quote or moto?
- “Two things: 1. What you make people feel inside. 2. What you bring out of them.” This quote reminds me to radiate positivity.
- Do you collect anything?
I collect plastic bottles caps to send them back home where my family can give them to a recycling company which will provide 1 wheelchair for every 540,000 caps received.
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Dance Entrepreneur Fellowship 2.22.21
Reaction is starting its inaugural Dance Entrepreneur Fellowship Program. This will be a 6 month program starting in March and ending in August 2021. In exchange for working on Reaction’s admin 10 hours a week, fellows will be coached on their dance business ideas. Each month Fellows will have two workshops 1hr ½ hrs each on zoom focused on learning different aspects of business from marketing, video editing, business models, finance, producing shows, residencies, and grants. They will also receive a $300 stipend at the end of each month for their work.
Tasks may include:
- social media posts,
- update website,
- edit videos
- answer email inquires
- research/submit grants
- assisting in programing/show production
We’re looking for passionate intelligent dancers with the dream of having their own dance company. Candidates should be a senior in college to early career dance professional. Expertise in the following areas would also be beneficial.
- completing or completed a college degree in Dance, Non- Profit Admin, Arts Admin, Marketing, and or Business
- social media marketing
- familiar with mail chimp or other email campaign managers
- Editing dance videos
- Good writing skills
- Grant writing experience
How to apply:
- Complete the form below by Thursday March 4th at 12 midnight.
- Cover letter: Pitch me your business idea! What kind of Dance Company, dance studio, dance event company ect do you want to work on? This can be an early stage existing business or one that hasn’t been realized yet.
Both documents will be asked for in this form.
6 Steps to Making Your First Dance Not Awkward 2.11.21
In the past seven years, I’ve seen and taken part in many first dances: as choreographer, performer, guest or the main event (the bride). It can be painful to watch a beautiful moment become a series of bungled steps or worse down right boring. I found that newlyweds that not only exuded confidence but actually enjoyed dancing for their friends and family followed at least three of the following six steps:
1. Don’t limit yourself to slow songs
Do you like rock, hip hop, salsa, or even Bollywood music? Don’t be afraid to put your favorite genre in your first dance. It will make creating your dance more fun for you and your partner and you’ll be able to throw in dance moves that feel natural.
Have a party song from that night you met in college, on your first date, or a recent pre-covid night on the town? Put it into your dance.
One couple I helped choreograph for decided they wanted “Shape of You” as part of the first dance mashup. At the beginning of our first lesson, both the groom and bride to be were quite nervous about how well they’d dance. Over a couple relaxed hours, those nerves transformed into looks of pure joy on both their faces. Dancing to one of their favorite party songs helped.
2. Feel Free to Repeat
You don’t need to make every move you dance unique. Create a sequence that can be repeated at certain times in the music.
For instance, make a set of moves that both of you dance whenever the chorus drops. If your song has the same chorus three times, that’s already three parts of the song you have steps for. Repetition allows you and your future spouse to relax. Since you have the same set of moves in a few places, you have fewer steps to learn overall.
That way your dance will be easy to learn and you’ll feel more confident dancing when the DJ announces, “And now it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting! When our new newlyweds will take the floor for their first dance!”
3. Honor your heritage
Do your family get-togethers involve dancing from dusk to dawn to salsa – or how about Bollywood at all your cousins’ weddings? Go ahead and put that style of dance into your wedding dance. You’ll feel more familiar with the moves since you do them all the time and you’ll enjoy the music.
Don’t worry if your partner comes from another culture. For instance, my husband and I come from different backgrounds; he’s Pakistani /German/Irish American and I’m Puerto Rican/German American. We decided why not throw in some Bollywood/Bhangra dancing!?
We both really enjoyed that style of music and dance. And it would impress his many, many relatives who came to our wedding (score!).
Even if your partner is unfamiliar with a traditional style of dance from your heritage, this could be the perfect moment to introduce them to your family traditions. It’s the perfect way for them to impress your family and for you two to connect on a different level.
4. Flash mob!
Ask your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or even family to be part of your wedding dance. (If you do this, usually people jump in closer to the end for dramatic effect.) This will make your wedding dance stand out. And it will be a lasting memory for all those who participated. Check out my bridal party killing it during my first dance above!
On that note, I want to give a shout out to one of my brides, Julie, for one of the most unique starts to a first dance I’ve ever seen. Not only did she want a flash mob of professional dancers (us) to start off the first dance, but then she joined us at the end. And she made this flash mob a surprise present to the groom. The look on his face when she joined in at the end: priceless.
5. Learn moves online
YouTube has tons of free tutorials for you to learn any style of dance you want for free. Why not watch a few first dance tutorials and see what moves feel the best to you?
Get started with our 7 Salsa Moves for Your First Dance video. If you’re reading this before March 2021, film yourself doing these moves and you could potentially win a free private wedding dance lesson with me. Which brings me to…
6. Hire a choreographer
In between picking flowers, finalizing the menu, worrying about whether your wedding will have to be virtual or live because of the pandemic, having the time to make a first dance on your own may fall by the way side. But by hiring a choreographer (shameless plug: me) you can leave the thinking and planning up to them.
A good instructor can take your vision and translate it into dance moves that you can easily do while looking impressive.
For instance, one of the couples I helped wanted to include a few styles in their first dance: Tango, Bollywood, and Ballroom. If this couple tried to put this together on their own it would of taken hours of watching videos to learn moves in styles they appreciated but didn’t know, hours of deciding which moves looked the best, and then finally practicing a ton on their own.
I took what would have been months of work and turned it into only five hours of dance instruction. I handpicked all the steps and broke them down so they both could learn them at a quick pace. After meeting only twice for a few hours at a time, they had mastered a 4 minute dance.
Want to talk to talk to me about your first dance? Set up a time to see how we can bring your vision to life by clicking the contact button below!
Will you Donate to A Dancer? 2.5.21
We are excited to announce that we have been accepted into a residency at the Dragon’s Egg Studio in Connecticut this March! For a week four of our dancers, will continue our work on creating our performance “We’re All Immigrants”. Our goal is to finish Part 2 during our stay! Ultimately, we want to complete our three part show for both school audiences as an educational assembly and for all ages to enjoy on stages across America!
In order to bring this show to life, we need your help! If you donate one dancer’s stipend of $300 , we in turn will have $300 more to spend on creating the best quality show possible. We’ll take that $300 and turn it into costumes, promotional materials, space to create the third part of the show. That way our show will be more sellable to schools and theaters across America.
We have three giving levels:
- $150 (half an artistic fee)
- $300 (full fee),
- $1,200 (you just sponsored the whole group).
All donations are tax deductible through the field’s website below!
Spend the new year learning how to dance with our new Dance Tutorials! Learn from the director herself, Juliette, on how to warm up, dance techniques, and choreography on styles from around the world every Tuesday on YouTube! Click the video to the right to view our announcement video. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and comment to suggest what styles of dance you’d like to learn!