New Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble to Hold Auditions Next Week
by Adrienne Warber
Are you a former dancer who misses performing? Or are you an adult ballet student who wants a chance to learn a choreographed dance and perform in shows? A new contemporary dance and modern ballet company, Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble, is forming in West Michigan to offer adults both performance and choreography opportunities. Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble will hold their auditions this weekend, August 18-19, to find local talent for their new performance group.
What is unique about Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble is the fact that it is for West Michigan adult dancers who love to dance and have at least two years of ballet and/or contemporary dance experience. This means that there is a place in this group for both adult dance students who are still learning their craft as well as former professional dancers who want a chance to perform and choreograph. The ensemble provides a way for adult dancers of all levels to collaborate and grow as performance artists together.
Sarah Bethel, Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble, says, “Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble is for adult dancers seeking to collaborate with others and grow as artists through choreography and performance. Dancers will have the chance to explore dance through the creative process of both performer and choreographer, if interested.”
Bethel’s idea for Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble grew out of her own experience as a former professional dancer who missed performing. Bethel, who studied dance at Hope College and danced professionally with Sidewalk Productions, now teaches ballet and tap at Balletmore and is a registered nurse. When she had an opportunity to perform in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” she realized how much she missed performing, and how few performance opportunities there were for adult dancers in West Michigan outside of professional dance. A large number of former professional dancers rarely get the chance to dance or perform regularly. So many adult dance classes teach technique or use ballet as exercise, and few provide performance options. Bethel saw a need for an opportunity for people who worked a 40-hour work week and had children to still pursue the art of dance. She didn’t want this opportunity to be limited to college dance majors or former professional dancers. Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble will provide the opportunity to explore the art of dance to experienced dancers of all levels and abilities.
Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble members will meet for rehearsals from September 8-December 2 on Fridays at 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Balletmore Dance Studio. (This rehearsal time schedule may change based on member schedules as determined at the audition. Anyone interested with a slight schedule conflict is still encouraged to attend the audition.) Each session will involve a 30-45-minute warm-up with the rest of the time dedicated to learning and rehearsing choreography. Ensemble members will take turns leading the group in warm-ups. Members pay $25 a month to cover the studio rental and costume costs, and sign a contract of member expectations for attendance and conduct.
Auditions will be held Friday, August 18 at 6-8 p.m., with a 5:45 p.m. registration, and Saturday, August 19 at 10 a.m.-12 p.m., with a 9:45 a.m. registration, at Balletmore Dance Studio at 2335 Burton St SE Grand Rapids, M 49506. No audition solo is required. The audition will consist of group barre work and floor work. A $10 audition fee is required. Visit Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble’s Facebook page or contact them at email@example.com to learn more about Grand Rapids Dance Ensemble and their auditions.