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Group sections are the heart and pulse of the choreography I've made so far. But groups are really hard.....hard to work in and hard to work with.

When I was 17 and dancing in the corps, a senior dancer I admired took me aside and told me I was ruining the Kingdom of the Shades by focusing only on my own dancing while ignoring lines, spacing, etc. Suitably shamed, I trained myself to be a better team member, but it wasn't my favorite kind of dancing. It can be fun to be part of a big picture onstage, but group rehearsals are tedious and draining. All those conflicting energies and egos in the room---I looked at the clock every 30 seconds.

Now it's my turn to face a studio full of dancers patiently or not-so patiently-awaiting direction. Knowing I have to start a group dance is like knowing I have to slip into a vat of ice water naked. It feels so cozy and soothing having only a few people in the studio---solos, duets, trios are the calmest parts of a process. Any number over five, and the tension starts mounting. Sometimes any number over three, if male dancers are involved. (Yeah, these guys pictured below are the very ones I'm thinking of---though they are wonderful dancers and I'm very fond of them.)

But all those egos and energies in close contact are really interesting to watch. So thank you to the dancers who have struggled along with me so far; I hope future collaborators will be as patient.

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