MOE BRODY- MY JOURNEY WITH HARBOUR DANCE CENTER

MOE BRODY: Owner of Vancouvers Hottest Dance Centre

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After finishing her degree in Human Kinetics at UBC, Moe returned to dance with the NBA Grizzlies Extreme Dance Team and then choreographed the CFL’s BC Felions and the creator of UBC’s Dance Team. She has done movies with Hayden Panetteire called I Love You Beth Cooper, for Ashanti and Brittany Snow in the movie John tucker Must Die, Dr. Doolittle 3 and Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief. She’s done commercials for McDonalds, Barbie, Kyocere, Coca-Cola and Disney. She is also on faculty with The Source, Rise, Danzemode, Groovestreet Productions and Broadway Bound International. As an adjudicator at dance competitions, she derives much satisfaction dispensing helpful advice which she hopes will inspire future dancers. She is co-owner of Harbour Dance Centre in downtown Vancouver where her favorite place to be is in class, sharing a good story or two.

Please enjoy her amazing journey and know its never to late to do what you love!

MOE BRODY- MY JOURNEY WITH HARBOUR DANCE CENTER

How did I become one of the owner’s of Harbour Dance Centre? I have to take you way, way back. It was a long journey, but a great one.

In grade 8, my dance teacher shut down her studio. I found out she started teaching for some friends of hers that had opened a new adult studio. What was it called? Harbour Dance Centre? Never heard of it. I took class from four amazing women: my teacher, Valerie Easton, Belinda Sobie, and the two owners, Pam Rosa and Danielle Clifford. Now you’d think I would have found this haven and never left right? Haven’t you heard of a thing called High School? The drama, fitting in, new friends…yup, they pulled me out of dance and into some excess pounds on my thighs. I stayed at Harbour until about grade 10, then it was bye-bye dance.

My teenage years were hard. I moved out of my mother’s home in grade 12 with no money but a lot of drive to work. I went to UBC with four courses on my plate and three jobs to pay for it all. Dance wasn’t even on my radar. However, it was all I knew. I had no relation to any other passion in my life. Because of this I studied Kinesiology; anything to relate to the body. We analyzed the momentum of a baseball swing or the anatomy breakdown of a basketball free throw….but no one liked my idea of the velocity of a pirouette. Dance was still in me, just way down deep. After graduation, I got a job in Sports Marketing for a new sports franchise in Vancouver (The Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey Team). It was here that things took a turn. The President of the (Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey) Team suggested we get a Dance Team, some sexy girls to fill the arena. He asked me to do some research on how much this would cost. He and I were shocked to find out how much dance choreographers actually charged. (I had no idea. Like really, no idea). He then said, “Moe, isn’t dance your thing? You’re on salary, this us one of your new tasks in your job description. Get on it!” I panicked. I was now 24 years old and hadn’t really danced in 9 years. I knew how to do the six-step prep for a clean double pirouette, and that about summed it up. Crap! What was I going to do? Wait, Harbour Dance… I wondered if that place is still open. What? Belinda is still teaching? I better get back into class!

With the same dance attire that I left with, parachute shorts, leg warmers, ripped flashdance t-shirt, I put it back on! She gave us a thrashy jazz combo, and I was in heaven. Everything felt so natural, so easy. Why did I ever leave this? In between groups, Belinda stopped the music and walked over to my spot. She got right up to me, face to face and said…..”Moe……you still got it. Where have you been?” Let the bawl-fest begin. Between the tears and the sweat, I left so dehydrated you’d think I was in the desert.

The Dance Team audition went well. Some old familiar faces came through, Joanne Pesusich, Laura Bartlet, Lisa Stevens, Sandi Croft….the old “young” Harbour gang. At the same time, Joanne was planning her move to L.A and had some studio teaching hours to give up. She asked me if I wanted to teach dance. Me? I didn’t know anything except what I learned in the 70’s and early 80’s. She assured me nothing much had changed. So back to Harbour I went to get into ballet and jazz class (as well as some new dance style called hip hop, funny right? )

Since you’ve read my novel, you know my history with Harbour Dance Centre. When I started back up in dance in the mid 90’s, I knew this place was something special. In 2009, Danielle was thinking of retiring. In 2010, it became a discussion. In 2011, it became a reality. Again, I am one lucky girl. The place that gave me my passion back is now something I can call mine.

Special thanks to this weeks guest blogger Moe Brody of Harbour Dance Centre.

Blog made possible by: www.harbourdance.com, www.daniellelgardner.com & Impact Dance Productions

Follow us on Twitter: @IMPACTDancePro / @daniigardner 

The back bone of humanity by Angel Jutzi

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Angel Jutzi

Founding Artistic Director, Zebra Eyes Contemporary Dance

angeljutzi.com

angelchristine14@gmail.com

Twitter @AngelJutzi

 

Balance.  As dancers we associate this word with the accuracy of our positions that allows us to achieve utter perfection in our craft.  As acutely as we have defined that word in our art it can be difficult to apply the same terminology to our everyday lives.  We are at an advantage in understanding how true balance can be achieved in our lives because we spend the majority of our time internalizing it in order to identify what balance actually means for us.

 

Individually, balance means something different for each of us.  In dance, body type and alignment have a great deal of bearing on how we execute different positions.  In life, a variety of factors contribute to how we perceive our needs; we uniquely form our own views of what balance means and what works for us. It can be easy to misconstrue the physicality and emotionality of how we determine balance in dance, and also in life, when the two are parallel in many ways.

 

As dancers, we always consider ourselves lucky to have the ability to do what we are passionate about for a living.  We have honed this passion over years of hard work, dedication and expression, thus we are quite personally attached to the emotions that we have developed. As erratic and irrational as our emotions may seem from time to time, we stand strong and confident that we are in tune to our passions and our ability to begrounded in the world around us through movement.  Because of our emotional involvement with our art we sometimes lose sight of how to bring stability into our lives.  But, is that notexactly what we are doing?

 

Stability and balance are two words that go hand in hand while we strive to execute the myriad of challenges, both technically and artistically, that are thrown at us.  In the studio and on stage we tackle it with a strength and confidence that can only come from years of practice, self-reflection, and self-realization.  Why is it then, that outside of a studio we struggle to utilize the skills that we have worked so hard to call our own?

 

Because we are involved in our art in such an up close and personal way it can be difficult to see the big picture.  And, the big picture is this.   We are unique creatures who have the ability to identify with our needs on a deep emotional level.  This is our passion.  We spend hours upon hours building technical skills in order to help us portray these emotions to the best of our abilityto the world around us creating a richer cultural understandingof who we are.  We are the backbone of humanity.

 

I understand the weight of this statement may seem heavy and, albeit, a bit dramatic.  The term “dancer” is a simple definition of who we are and what we do.  We are so much more than a simple term.  In order to become a true dancer, an artist, the universe requires us to delve into every inch of who we are.  Every moment of our lives is spent trying to be better, achieve more, and mean something.  This is inspiration.  And, inspiration is what this world needs.

 Blog made possible by Impact Dance Productions and http://www.daniellelgardner.com