Sometimes, life gets a little crazy.
You know the feeling, right? For every item that gets crossed off your to-do list, five more seem to pop up in its place? If you’ve ever directed a huge musical production with a group of middle-schoolers, then you really know what that’s like. That’s what I was up to last weekend. And I loved every stinkin’ minute of it! I am extremely grateful that I get to do what I love every day- even when it means dealing with costumes that “somehow” ended up in the toilet. (Don’t ask.)
I’m also grateful for a very special dancer in Version Excursion, Abby Heil. Sometimes, I work on more than one show at a time. Sometimes, I get sick or go on vacation. That’s where Abby comes in. As Rehearsal Director, she is the one who keeps things going when I can’t be there. She also keeps me sane, reminds me to pick out costumes more than two days before a show, and basically deals with any overflow when my brain gets too full and stuff starts spilling out.
This month’s blog post is an interview with Abby about her experience with Version Excursion and her love for dance.
You’ve been with Version Excursion for almost two years. What has made you come back?
It’s very welcoming here. Your opinions are always at least heard, if not considered, which is nice. It’s very easy to feel like you’re part of the process and the art rather than just being someone’s tool -which is still a valuable experience that everyone needs to have as a dancer- but being able to create as peers is a whole new level of really becoming part of the dance. The movement feels really natural to me which a big draw. It’s a family, really. A tiny one, right now, but a family.
What has been your favorite performance or project with Version Excursion? Why?
March to May at the Triple Door. Performing with a live band is a really exhilarating experience, especially one that we’ve been collaborating with. Having done both of the pieces with them-either in performance or video-made the movement feel really natural at that point and it felt more alive than ever. And being on a brand new stage was really exciting. The costumes, having everyone there…was just extra sensational.
How do you balance your role as Rehearsal Director with performing in the company?
When I’m in rehearsal, I’m a dancer unless I’m called upon specifically for more than that. Outside of rehearsal, I can lend myself more to whatever needs to be done. It’s important to not hold myself differently than the other dancers because we’re all equal. Making sure everyone respects each other in a way that anyone could be Rehearsal Director. I’d give any of the other dancers the same respect if they were in the same position.
Why do you love to dance?
It’s a way of having to say words without really saying them, which is good because I’ve never been good with words. It’s my natural language-movement. It’s a language you don’t need a dictionary to understand. It’s a good way to connect with people on a level you can’t do anywhere else. You can put as much into it as you want and still get something really fulfilling. You can let someone else control, or you can do it yourself. If you’re having a bad day, it helps you go to another place. You can put your heart and soul into it and still get the world back.
Check out Abby’s bio on our website: http://www.versionexcursiondance.org
Version Excursion Dance is an Associated Program of Shunpike! Shunpike provides independent artists in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success. To support Version Excursion Dance with a tax-deductible donation, visit our click-and-pledge page here: