A Year of Stretch Dance Company: Where We Were Then, and Where We’re Going

Hello Friends of Stretch!

 

You didn’t think we’d disappeared, did you?

Just in time, too.  As summer comes to a close, so does my first year with Stretch Dance Company.

It has been an unbelievable year.It has been a year of unexpected pitfalls and victories, of friendship, of dance, and especially hope.

If I sat down with the Laura from a year ago, she would have a very different idea of how things would turn out.

A year ago, I had just started writing for the blog and Stretch had just closed its preview performances of I Have Lived a Thousand Years.  A year ago, I thought the hardest part of being in a dance company was trying to make it Lyndell Perfect Land a reality.

As the lights went down on our final preview performance, I thought that the hardest work was complete.

Ah well, I did say it was a year full of hope, didn’t I?

Shortly after the preview closed, I began working with Lyndell on the backend of the company.  Let me tell you, if you think Lyndell Perfect Land is hard on the dance floor, try it on a desktop.

But the hardest about making a dream dance company a reality?  The reality part.  The truth is, it takes time to grow a company—dance or otherwise—and there are a whole host of problems.  From finding the right people to securing a dance space, to finding time to rehearse (while you have the space), to nabbing funds, to promoting the company, which usually means you need more funds…unfortunately dance is often the last thing on the list.

But it has also shown me the kind of company that Stretch could be once it’s off the ground.  Though there have been some drawbacks, I have been so inspired by Lyndell and the rest of the Stretch Dance Company and everyone’s commitment and generosity to pledge their time, their talent, and themselves to this adventure.  I have been bowled over by the excitement of our fans, by my friends who are always there to support and ask me about what’s going on with the company, and even by interested third parties who hear about us at a workshop, or in passing.

The message that Lyndell is trying live—through dance, through the very mission of Stretch Dance Company—is hope.  Each dance she choreographs is a step closer to this ideal.  We are surrounded by news and stories that remind us just how awful the world can be.  Lyndell and Stretch Dance Co. offer a different story: one of optimism founded not in naïve ignorance, but based in the strength of those who have come before us, and in the richness of what we create now.

It will be a hard slog from here, but I believe in my fellow Stretchers, in Lyndell, and most of all, for what we stand for: hope.

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