Dancers to perform at Mary Kay Convention

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior

Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore

The Mary Kay Convention in Dallas will feature the talents of  OCU dancers this summer. In fact, all available dancer positions were filled by OCU dancers.

Students auditioned in Dallas in May for the gig which runs through August 7.

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior, said this will be her first professional dance job.

“I’ve been paid for a few theater performances before,” she said. “But  this is the biggest thing I’ve done.”

Prochilo is one of three non-returning dancers who was selected be dancing part-time at the convention. Other selected non-returning part-time dancers also are from OCU. Lauren Johnson, dance performance junior, and Jenifer Bohn, dance performance senior, snagged the castings.

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior, and Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore, were selected for full-time roles. Prochilo said the casting director asked if more full-time dancers could be considered for hire, but was directed to only select two dancers.

Returning dancers from OCU who will be performing include Kelly Bostorff and Michael McCarthy, dance performance seniors, Julie Russell, fine arts graduate, Carla Yoselow, dance management senior, and a few OCU alumni.

“We have such a great support system,” Prochilo said. “It was comforting to walk into the audition knowing we had a lot of friends there.”

Sarah Larr, entertainment director of Larrwell Productions, the company responsible for Mary Kay Convention casting, said she is “amazed” by the performance level of OCU dancers.

“The dancers are already performing at a level that we strive to reach in our performers after a month,” she said. “They not only dance well, they are smiling and singing from the start. They are exactly what we look for. I have never seen such a polished group of performers from one place.”

Auditions for singers will be hosted June 5, 10 and 12 in Room E35 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas. Times are still to be determined. For more information, visit the Larrwell Productions website.

Radio City Rockette encourages dancers to train during summer

Elizabeth Bork, Radio City Rockette

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.” It can be tempting for performing arts students to do this during the summer months. But not keeping in shape by actually being in the show or training can hinder your growth as a dancer.

Elizabeth Bork, Radio City Rockette, said not dancing or keeping in shape during the summer can cause dancers to take a few steps backward in their training.

“From experience, I know that it’s really hard to come back once you take a break,” she said. “If you don’t stay in shape during your break, you waste the first few months of your return trying to get back to where you left off before your break.”

Bork said during her off season, she likes to mix her training up.

“My workout of choice is running, but I also do a lot of swimming, kickboxing, cyclying, yoga, and pilates,” she said. “Although dance class, ballet in particular, is the thing that keeps me in the best shape.”

Bork said keeping in shape is important to her because Radio City Rockettes are required to audition annually.

“There are no guarantees,” she said. “Which makes every woman so grateful and appreciative for their jobs.”

Students who make specific dance levels at the end of a semester at OCU also are not guaranteed to be placed in the level the following semester. Dance performance seniors also must meet the dance department’s dance level requirements before applying for graduation. Not keeping in shape during the summer can be a factor in dancers not progressing  or moving down in their levels.

Ali Boolani, adjunct faculty/strength coach, said the biggest misconception regarding fitness is that workouts of longer duration result in losing more weight.

“Quality is better than quantity,” he said.

Boolani offers fitness tips for dancers in this video:

For specific cardiovascular and strength exercise ideas, visit Dance Spirit’s fitness article page.

To see what some performing arts majors are doing during the summer, click here.