In the first of our series of Meet the Dancer for 2016, we'll be speaking to Michaela Grace Best from EDge, London Contemporary Dance School’s postgraduate company.
Michaela is a native of Marietta, Georgia USA, where she studied at UNC School of the Arts for a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She danced with a variety of productions and companies before joining the postgraduate programme in London including, Ballet Hispanico's BHdos in NYC. Michaela also has a background as a champion baton twirler, teacher/choreographer, arts advocate, and was Miss Georgia 2011 where she competed in the 2012 Miss America Pageant.
I started dancing when I was three years old and I decided to “go for it” when I realised I couldn’t choose baton twirling as a major in college.
I was fortunate enough to see The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. After the show, I wore my Rockette pajama set as a cover up to almost every Nutcracker rehearsal that year (pajama bottoms were the “cool” thing to wear at a rehearsal back in the early 2000s)
Performing my talent as Miss Georgia 2011 on the Miss America stage will definitely be one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life so far!
I particularly love working with material that has sharp accents or quirky movements. When it comes to performing, I enjoy pieces that allow me to get into a specific character.
Martha Graham inspires me, I particularly like this quote; “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” - Martha Graham
Besides the training and networking, I believe EDge will refine my artistry in a way that will help me carry a sense of self without having to project or prove myself. I’m really looking forward to working with Tom Roden. His current work of Hercules with New Art Club gives me the sense that he’ll create something that will allow a lot of personality in rehearsal and on stage.
“Hairography”…….Urban Dictionary describes this as: Choreography using a lot of dance movement with the head that causes the hair to thrash about.
I’m not much of a cook, but I make really good banana nut bread!
Meet the Dancer blog will be publised every Wednesday.