On one of my earlier blogs, I attached a video of Hayden Hopkins who is one of the most talented young dancers I’ve seen in the competition circuit in the past few months/years. Thanks to the college internet in my dorm, I’ve been able to research more dancers and I have to turn my attention to Denah Gregory.
She’s not even a teenager and she’s STILL more technically gifted than most people 5 or 6 years older than her and in dance, the maturity of her technique is absolutely crucial. No one is going to take a young dancer seriously if she (most competition dancers are female, let’s not call me a sexist) does a cutesy number with all the frills and bows. Sure, that may be good for a while but when push comes to shove, future employers and amateur dance critics-not unlike myself-that will look at the seriousness of the number instead of just the technical ability of the dancer. I’ve seen it many times before: a technical genius of a dancer is inhibited by the childishness of her choreography. Denah is different because her choreographers are amazing and they let her technique and pure movement speak for itself.
Tokyo gave her movements, but she created the story. For me, I saw this almost as an homage to the early years of a professional dancer. The practicing, the frustration, and the awkwardness of the first few years of basic training are all parts of a dancer’s career. However, the biggest part of the story is her flawless control and composure. I have NEVER seen such a young dancer (I think she was around 9/10 at the time of the piece) avoid wobbles, shakes, or basically any sort of technical error.
The lack of emotion on her face may annoy some people but to me it just adds to the story. One of the main jobs as a dancer is to make the choreography look effortless and by not showing any sort of emotion (even after nailing about 5 turns), she exemplifies that concept perfectly. The whole point of having those amazing extensions and perfect technique is to pretend it doesn’t even mater. If you make a dance where you leap, turn, kick, flip, and repeat the process, you look like a condescending a** who doesn’t care about any of the intricacies.
Denah is a breath of fresh air. She’s remarkable not only in technique but in her sheer movement quality as well. She’s my new dancer to watch.
Everything Dances featured dancers Courtney Thurston, Denah Gregory, Courtney Schwartz, & Lauren Herb met up during Artists Simply Human nationals in Atlantic City, NJ last week! Our favorite part about Everything Dances is connecting dancers :) Congrats to Courtney Thurston, who won the honor of being named an ASH assistant for 2013-2014! She’s following Courtney Schwartz and Denah, who just finished their season as ASH assistants. All four of these incredible dancers had an amazing year with ASH, and we are SO proud of them!
Willa Davies is fourteen years old, she looks like Dena’h Gregory and is available.
Talent: Willa was put into dance at four years old, just like most little girls. She took to it though and by the age of six she was on the competition team. She had natural flexibility and grace which benefited her whenever she took to the stage. As she grew she just kept progressing and started winning every competition she entered. With her natural talent for lyrical and contemporary Willa became the one to beat and is known in the dance world as a force to reckoned with.
Personality: Willa is a peaceful girl. She’s scared of confrontation and does her best to keep everyone happy at all times. Despite being tall and thin Willa isn’t that confident in herself and hates being the center of attention. She likes to have a small group of friends and she prefers listening to talking. Willa will do anything for her friends and her family because they are her number one priority. Willa doesn’t mind if she’s not happy as long as the people around her are.
Family: Willa’s dad left her and her mom when Willa was two so she doesn’t ever remember having him around. Her and her mom grew close as a result and Willa knows that her mom worked incredibly hard to give her everything she wanted. Being away from her mom is hard on Willa but she’s determined to do well at St Michaels and succeed as a dancer, so that all of her mom’s hard work was worth it. Willa would never complain about not having a dad but it does make her sad to see complete whole families.