We’re back with another edition of “Dance Blog Spotlight” – and the blog this month focuses on choreography…
1. Can you tell readers a bit about your background in dance?
I started dancing with a praise dance company, The Hush Company, under the direction of Stacy and LaQuin Meadows. I danced with them for 8 years and knew that dance was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t start studying ballet and modern until I was 18 years old. I have a BFA in Dance Performance with a K-12 Certification from Towson University in Towson, MD. I now teach full-time at a performing arts high school in downtown LA: Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts.
2. When did you begin your blog-and why did you start it?
I began The Choreography Clinic in November 2011. I started it because I don’t have time to get my MFA right now and I missed those in-depth conversations about process that you only seem to find in college dance programs. I am sure you can find them other places as well but I wasn’t finding them where the access was free and open. I have lots of books on choreography but they didn’t give me the kind of interaction and reflection that I was craving. I also wanted an opportunity to talk with other choreographers who were as interested in process as I was and find out how they were navigating their own artistic processes.
This idea came to me over a year ago, but I was really nervous at first that no one would be interested. No one knew who I was. I had not produced any work publicly and sometimes dance can be very clique-ish. I finally got up the nerve to go forward with the project and found myself in conversations where I was hearing that this was something others wanted as well. Geography is a huge problem for people who want that interaction, so online has provided a wonderful way to interact without the drama of having to “get to” somewhere to get it.
3. What does your blog cover?
Our tagline is “dance makers on making dance.” Basically that is the gist of it. Every month, I send out 4-6 questions about various aspects of making dance. I really wanted an opportunity to focus on the minutiae of construction and process…and moreso, to see the similarities and differences in how artists approach and negotiate these.
4. What has been the best part about participating in the dance community online?
I get to meet people from all over the country. There really are no boundaries or hindrances to the conversation we want to have…except time, that is.
5. What other dance blogs do you read?
I must confess that there are not any particular dance blogs that I read yet. I have just began to search but with teaching full-time, it makes it very hard. But I have set up Google alerts so that I could receive stories and blog posts about what is going on in the dance world.
BIO: Marlita Hill teaches dance full-time at the Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles. She received her BFA in Dance Performance with K-12 Certification from Towson University in Maryland. In 2008, she published her book, “Dancers! Assume the Position,” which examines the role of dance in worship. She serves as a board member and Children Show Coordinator for Rhapsody In Taps, Inc., a Los Angeles based tap company under the direction of Linda Sohl-Ellison.