Inlet Dance Theater is a dance company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Inlet has an Artistic Director, Company Manager, 7 company members, 4 apprentices, 2 proteges, and 5 trainees. Their mission statement is: “to create and perform innovative dance and movement theatre at a high level of artistry, speak creatively about human life issues, and bring about personal development in the lives of individuals through training and mentoring.” From experience I can tell you that their mission statement could not be any truer. Whenever I was unsure of something or didn’t know where to turn, Inlet was the place where I was completely sure of who I was and I knew I fit in. No mater what was happening in my life I knew that I was always welcome to dance it out with Inlet. The staff aren’t just my mentors but they are also my family.
So during the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to dance with Inlet which happens to be one of my favorite companies (if you already didn’t know). Now this wasn’t the first time that I’ve had this opportunity, but this year was a little different. I’ve danced with Inlet for 4 summer straight in their Summer Dance Intensive (SDI), but this summer I was just a drop in. I would go to the studio to take company class and sometimes non-traditional partnering. Most of the time I would find myself observing the students, and seeing them make the connections between body and mind. I saw this happening especially in non-traditional partnering. In the pairs of dancers, they were trying to make connections with there bodies without verbalizing where they were going to make the connection. At first there was a lot of thinking going on as to where the connection could be made. After each dancer became comfortable with their partner they began to trust one another and the body was able to move freely.
I also got the chance to watch the company rehearse for their upcoming events happening in and out of the state. I got to watch the process of the choreographer, Bill Wade, and how he creates and develops the pieces into works of art. Bill helps the company to know and understand each role because if one dancer gets hurt there is another who can pick up the role. In watching this process I found myself not only looking at the dancers, but I was also visualizing what light that could be possible in the work. This helped me to see that Production is a path that I do want to pursue. At first I was unsure because I didn’t want to be seen as just a tech person but I also wanted to be seen as a dancer. Being a part of these rehearsals has helped me to see that it is possible to be and do both. It also gave me a new outlook on production and media because while the rehearsal was taking place you could see that Bill was thinking about the steps that would come next. Being able to watch this was thrilling because he would also share what he was thinking and would ask me if I understood what he was doing. I would often share my opinions on the works and that too would help Bill because he would get a feel of what an audience member might feel.
Throughout taking classes and watching rehearsals I have learned so much about my interest and what I would like to do next. This summer was a good different a different that I enjoyed experiencing. I can’t wait for all of the events that Inlet has planned and I am looking forward to seeing all the new works. Dancing with Inlet only made me miss dancing at OSU with everyone. I can’t wait to start my Sophomore Year!!!!
More info at: http://www.inletdance.org