On March 2nd, I had my 6 month anniversary as Publications Manager here at Core Dance. It’s strange how the time flew by, but I also feel like I’ve been here forever. I’m beyond grateful for all that Core Dance has given me so far, and last week, I realized (again) how lucky I am, when I experienced my very first retreat. The time away felt much more like one big hug rather than 3 days of intensive discussions.
On Wednesday morning, we carpooled out to Lake Ruben, a 2 hour drive to North Georgia. My experiences in Georgia have been limited to the city, so I was excited to see a bit of the country. After we unpacked and settled in, I went on a walk (despite the super steep hills) to really take it all in. The house we stayed in overlooked the lake, with a boathouse and a dock to complete the picture-perfect landscape. The whole time we were there, I was bombarded with memories of my family’s old lakehouse, and evenings spent curled up on the couch watching the water.
The word “retreat” makes me think of naps and hot cups of coffee and relaxing with a good book. While some of our time at the lake was spent doing just that, most of the day we would dive deep into all things Core Dance. My position here is only my second “real” adult job since I graduated in May from college, and I haven’t experienced much of the corporate world. Still, I know that not every company organizes a time away for staff to connect, reflect, and come up with goals for the future. (Side note - Everyone was also responsible for cooking at least one meal. Who knew dancers ate so much quinoa and avocado!)
Although some of the discussions were exhausting and occasionally mentally draining, they were balanced out with meditation sessions, and the occasional time for napping or going on walks. Personally, I claimed a wonderfully plump corner of the couch, where I spent some quality time with my book during our breaks (I highly recommend The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan), and probably woke up Rose and Sharon in the middle of the night with my snoring (sorry guys). Technically, we were working for three days straight. But between the nightly games of Uno, handstands on the dock, and the endless teasing of me and my “spot,” it really felt more like one big sleepover.
On the Monday after a major performance, the office at Core Dance is always a bit quiet. We’re all tired and sluggish, coming down from the high that is production week. Today, my body is especially weary because in addition to Core Performance Company’s performance of “July 13, 2016: 4:10pm,” we also had a guest artist teach class last Wednesday-Friday. Last week was a crazy, amazing blur, and there is really no way I can capture all the energy and emotion in one blog post. So, I’m going to pick a few highlights to sum it all up.
Benjamin Wardell - “Low Flying”
Throughout three short classes, we learned how to move with, instead of against, the floor. Benjamin Wardell, the founder and Creative Director of The Cambrians, taught “Low Flying,” which included a ton of athletic floorwork and smooth transitions. Ben described his movement with some unique phrases:
Learn all about The Cambrians at http://www.thecambrians.com/
July 13, 2016: 4:10pm
A New Work by D. Patton White
Although we had three nights of performances, I only had a chance to sit and fully experience the third night. (The box office is quite a job!) The final night felt especially emotional to me, and the audience sat in silence for a moment after it ended. Everyone seemed to be catching their breath. I could tell you all about my favorite parts of the piece (shout out - Andrew and Scott’s duet was breathtaking), but I think it’s best to reflect the entire audience’s experiences.
After every performance or event, we ask two simple questions on an easel: What surprised you about the performance? And what did you find memorable?
Here is what our community said:
What surprised you about the performance?
What did you find memorable?
Barbara Branson, Publications Manager, and the People of Core Dance