ERIN ANDERSON ON DANCE, HER DREAMS, AND LIFE.
A LOOK BACK AT THE START OF IT ALL
OPEN FLOOR EXCLUSIVE:
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
DECEMBER 2009 USA $0.99 OPENFLOOR DANCE.COM
DECEMBER 2009 VOLUME
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS A quick look at the history of this dance movement.
ERIN ANDERSON An inside look at Open Floorâ€™s smallest choreographer with a massive heart and passion
OPEN FLOOR EXCLUSIVE Where are we heading?
TIN TIN VONGPHRACHANH Creative Director TY HUNT Editor-in-Chief PHOTOGRAPHY Photographer AMANDA FASSINGER Photo Assistant TY HUNT PRODUCTION Magazine Layout AMANDA FASSINGER
firstname.lastname@example.org To submit comments, questions, or articles
7th Day Productions â€“ so named because coming to dance class would be like getting scheduled a 7th day of work. Each dancer who came to class knew the amount of work required to be successful with the choreography and techniques presented. That never seemed to matter to anyone, however. Everyone who came to dance class recognized the same need; a need to grow within themselves as well as outwardly. It was for this reason that we created the 7th Day Productions group. We found a common theme among many performers: a frustration with being under utilized in their current roles and a need of an outlet to allow those unutilized gifts to grow. Little did we know just how important this group would become to people, both to seasoned dancers and beginners. How did it truly begin though? That is a simple answer really. From its inception, we knew that we would need an adequate rehearsal space in order to allow people the chance to progress. Due to a scheduling opening
of one of the rehearsal rooms backstage at Walt Disney World, we had found an open floor upon which we could dance. Not only was this rehearsal room spacious, more than adequate, and available to us, it also was free to use. This allowed us to offer these classes free of charge, though it restricted us to offering them only to current Walt Disney World Cast Members. With Tin Tin Vongphrachanh initially handling many of the choreographic elements, we held our first week of classes. Though the classes initially were small, typically no more than 5-7 members, the response we garnered sparked a surge of interest in the little dance group known as 7th Day Productions. One advantage to offering the classes among our peers (as well as offering them free of charge) is that word about the classes spread quickly. What happened next can only be described as a phenomenon. In the coming months of operation, classes began growing at a rate we were unprepared for. Because we offered more than just one style of dance, people from many different areas began to hear about the classes.
Initially, word began growing in the entertainment department. Surprisingly, interest in dance began to spread among other departments as well. It was at this moment that 7th Day Productions was not just another dance class. People were looking for a way to better themselves; they were looking for a place to begin a new journey. As popularity of the group grew, the choreographer staff grew as well, bringing with them new elements and fresh faces to the 7th Day Productions group. These elements of the dance program continued to attract new members. For each member, the journey was different; the motivation for coming to each class however remained the same. It was an opportunity to find new pieces of themselves and learn how to express themselves in new ways. Each choreographer expected something different from each of his or her respective choreography. This expectation pushed and exposed emotions. Much as a clay maker molds until the lump of clay is transformed
into a piece of art, these choreographers shape and mold each dancer. This transformation explains why 7th Day Productions exists. So here we are, less than a full year later and already it’s time to make some new changes. We’ve already outgrown our current pair of dance shoes; it’s time for some new ones. What does the future hold? Quite a bit actually and I, for one, am excited to see just how much is coming in the upcoming months. I am also reminded, however, of just how far we have come as a group and as individuals. This process has brought out new strengths within each of us and has already put us on that growth journey; and this is just the beginning.
erinANDERSON CONTEMPORARY BROADWAY
HER BEGINNINGS AS A DANCER, HER CURRENT ROLE AS CHOREOGRAPHER, HER FUTURE DREAMS, ERIN SHARES HER JOURNEY BY
P H OTO G R A P H E D BY
AN INSIDE LOOK AT OPEN FLOOR’S SMALLEST CHOREOGRAPHER WITH A MASSIVE HEART AND PASSION
f there’s one thing I can say about Erin, she can definitely make you smile. Her laid-back personality, coupled with her generosity, make her such a pleasant person to be around. But it doesn’t end there. Matching her bubbly personality is a passion and talent for all things artistic. Upon first meeting Erin, you could mistake her small stature (she is 5’1”!) as limiting. But then you see her dance, hear her sing, experience her songs, and you are blown away by the talent. How does this powerhouse reside in such a small frame? I caught up with Erin to find out exactly that… How would you describe your life when not working? Quirky. But very chill. I try and minimize my stress by finding things that make me laugh. Well what would it take to make you laugh? Anything wickedly witty. I live for Ellen DeGeneres’s stand up specials. I’m not above laughing at someone simply tripping. Outside of dance, what else makes you YOU? Singing. I consider myself a singer above a dancer. I actually write songs about things I think are funny. And I bake a mean cupcake :) Other than that, my family makes me ME. They’ve been nothing but supportive and I’m extremely grateful for that. It’s kept me grounded. How do you approach a new routine? First off, I only choose music that makes me move the first time I hear it, the first impression of a piece is very important. Then, I think of the story. I love pieces that have a through line, that end differently than they begin. And I fill in the blanks from there. Remember the moment that made you think, “this is what I was made for.” What was the moment? I think I’ve always knows this is what I was made for since I was tiny. I don’t think I listened to it, though, until I started doing musicals in middle school and
some stranger told me they couldn’t wait to see me on Broadway. As cheese ball as it is, it was then that I realized I was starting a journey that was much bigger than me, but I was stoked. In what Broadway shows would you like to perform? I love small, intimate shows like The Last Five Years, or A New Brain, but there’s a special place in my heart for epic musicals like Ragtime, and Les Miserables. And Into the Woods always warms my heart.
“...I think I’ve always knows this is what I was made for ...” What type of role suits you best? Or is that role yet to be written? I’ve always been drawn to strong women’s roles, but my forte is the funny sidekick. I have yet to find a leading role who’s short and sassy, belts it out, and dances for her life. Maybe I’ll write it myself ;) Who are your influences? The people around me. I try and surround myself with people who spark my creativity and inspiration. And musical stars from the 60’s. People don’t bust out like that anymore. I think it’s wonderful. So could you see yourself busting into a random song and dance number in the middle of the city somewhere? Absolutely! How great would it be to yell “5,6,7,8!” and all of Columbus Circle becomes a showstopper?! I mean, Gisele did it in Enchanted...
How has dance affected your life? It’s an escape and a therapy wrapped up in one. Just like in a musical, song and dance pick up where words fall short. I’ve tapped into parts of myself I didn’t know were there until throwing myself into a dance showed me so. How would you like to affect others with your dancing? I would love for people to bust out of their normal way of feeling and thinking because of a piece I’ve created, and allow themselves to carry that into other parts of their lives. Where do you see yourself in the coming years? New York, New York, New York. Well, for starters. The most important thing I owe myself is to allow myself to follow my passions, wherever they run to. I’m a gypsy in
that way. But I love New York, and I think it’s waiting for me with big plans. How has Open Floor choreography helped on your dancing journey? It’s so easy to get caught up in the red tape and stress of the company, or anything you’re wrapped up in. I’m guilty of that. Open Floor has reminded me of the performer I chased down here, and will keep chasing. How would you label yourself as a dancer? (ex: I’m a contemp dancer or I’m a Latin Ballroom expert, etc) I’m a contemporary Broadway dancer. Is that fair? Can I combine genres? Of course you can! This is your show!
OPEN FLOOR EXCLUSIVE WHERE ARE WE GOING?
So I know you’ve all heard Tin Tin saying big news is on the horizon. For those of you who have been with us for a while now even see changes in the program now (like the name changing from 7th Day to Open Floor). But Tin Tin has been a bit elusive with information, hasn’t he? Well, that’s for good reason actually. So here’s what I can divulge to everyone. First, as you know, our humble dance program has grown in ways that we didn’t even fathom in such a short time. Because of that growth, we are expanding; expanding into new things (more on that in a minute) and expanding into a new facility! Tin Tin has secured the Platinum Dance Academy studio for our use beginning in January 2010. What does that do for the program? Quite a bit actually. First, it allows us to offer classes at more flexible times and more frequent times per week. With most of our crazy Disney schedules, that will help immensely. Secondly, it’s off of Disney’s property; this opens the dance program up to a bigger base of potential dancers since they won’t need a Disney ID to get on property. Third, we have more freedom in how the classes can be run and scheduled. These are all very important things that will help ensure the success of the Open Floor Movement! And that is exactly what we are doing; moving. Moving forward, moving into a new level, but also moving into areas that will stimulate even more growth. Ironically, enough that’s not the end of the news. But for now, that is where I will end. As I stated earlier, Tin Tin has numerous tricks up his sleeves that will only continue to better the program. Stay tuned for those. I will update everyone as the information becomes solidified. Now, let’s talk about the program itself. You may have noticed some new faces taking on the reins of choreographer for our dance classes. With a total of 16 choreographers, you will see some new and fresh styles. Rather than boringly name everyone right now, you will all get a chance to meet each choreographer through this magazine. Each monthly issue will provide an in-depth exclusive look at one, giving you a chance to truly get inside their minds. These choreographers
will continue to teach in a rotation, as they have been, for the time being. This will allow more freedom in the class schedule initially. Keep in mind however, that this is likely to change as the curriculum is fleshed out and solidified a bit more. One thing will remain the same though; an avid appreciation for the many styles of dance and the same devotion to learning and perfecting this art form. Again, moving into a new facility will only help to nurture that. It also opens up the opportunity to get involved with more activities. More than just “taking a dance class,” we want to encourage people to get involved in productions. Isn’t that the reason we come to class in the first place? So, don’t be surprised when you begin to see flyers and hear a buzz for auditions for projects. By coming to classes, you’ll be in the pool of castings for these upcoming projects. It’s exciting to think about, is it not?