We have been lucky to have Andrea Isea as our student intern this spring, and in this guest post she shares her dance journey and experience of working at The Dance Centre:
At only 6 years old, I knew that dance would be the path for me. I fell in love with ballet after watching The Nutcracker and trained for five years. When I first came to Canada from Venezuela, I was eleven, my family immediately looked for a dance studio for me to continue my ballet training. What I didn’t know, is that I would be exposed to many other different forms of dance, and about three years later, I was in the Professional Training Division. I trained competitively in all styles, including tap and hip hop and completed my corresponding RAD exams. However, growing up dancing wasn’t easy for me. I struggled, and still struggle, with my body image. Many teachers that I’ve had have told me that I was too heavy to dance, and that I should lose weight, but my love for dance was greater than those thoughts and I never gave up.
After graduating, I auditioned for Simon Fraser University’s Dance Program. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in, but I was accepted into SFU as an Intended Major in Dance. This year I have not been dancing as much as I used to. I decided to take this year to learn about other departments in the contemporary arts and take a break from dance to see if it was really what I wanted to do. It wasn’t much of a break from dance since I became a dance teacher at my old studio and choreographed my first solo ever to take to competition; and I also stumbled upon an internship with The Dance Centre. Being a first year, I applied without knowing that internships are usually given to students in third and fourth year, but after my interview with them, I got the position as a Dance Outreach Coordinator.
I worked with the Marketing and Members Services teams of The Dance Centre. This was a different aspect of dance, the behind-the-desk kind of work. I learned a ton of information on different techniques to market different shows. One of my duties, was to complete the listing for the 11 events The Dance Centre was presenting. My favourite one, was Francesco Scavetta’s Hardly Ever. His show was the only one I got to work with from beginning to end. I attended the initial meeting in January where it was discussed how we would approach the marketing of the event, and as the months passed by, I delivered the posters and postcards, made the listings, shared the events on Facebook, mailed postcards to certain members, and fortunately, got to watch the show at the end.
While doing some work with Member Services, I got to know many diverse dance companies in Vancouver and other parts of the world. I think that this is the most valuable thing I learned during my internship. I realized that there are many companies out there that are doing their own thing, they are not all professional ballet companies. It made me really think about my own path in dance. Every dancer in these companies are doing what they love no matter what. They are putting up shows for audiences and are well known. I learned that I can be a dancer if I want to be; and I really want to be. This year I have missed dance more than ever, and my experience with The Dance Centre has opened many doors for me, exposing me to all these independent companies that are succeeding in the world, as well as inspired me to continue to pursue my dance career, which is why I will be auditioning again for the SFU Dance Program this spring.
The Dance Centre has been the highlight of my first year at SFU. I have learned so much from everybody that is involved with it. The Dance Centre is a great environment to work with and they are all so supportive of each other. I have truly enjoyed working with everyone and I am certain that this won’t be my last time here. Thank you for everything.