Growing Pains: Growing into a Professional Company, Part 2

A few weeks back, I wrote about the difficulties of getting a new dance company off its feet and onto its pointe shoes.  I quickly realized that there are a lot more difficulties than one puny blog post can detail.  Now, back by no demand, I bring you a few more obstacles to starting Stretch….and how we’re getting around it.

Our dancers are awesome…too awesome.

Stretchers are amazing dancers from all different genres and types of dance and are held to very high standards (you have to in order to make it in Lyndell Perfect Land!).  Unfortunately, that means our dancers are good enough to book gigs, which means Lyndell is constantly scheduling around other rehearsals and sometimes even losing dancers to overseas commitments.

Denai and Chris
Denai and Chris also lead dance warm ups when Lyndell is off doing…whatever creative directors do.

How we’re overcoming it:

We dance around our schedules as much as we dance around the studio.  Usually, the only time everyone is free is on Saturday nights.  It’s not always the best time, but we’re making it work for now.  We also have two awesome dance captains, Denai and Chris, who learn every single dancer’s choreography so that they can jump in when someone is missing.  We also take a video each rehearsal (the edited versions are posted on our YouTube channel!) to catch up on any choreography that we missed.  This means that each dancer has to be really on top of their choreography and able to follow it ourselves.

Time is…time.

Like all artists, Stretchers have day jobs.  This means we have anywhere from 20-40 hours of work and/or school in our week before we even begin attacking Stretch rehearsals.  This doesn’t just apply to rehearsals, but to the administrative side of the company as well.  Every assistant, every designer, and especially all of the creative and magic that Lyndell does on her end.  Finding dance space and writing pitch letters may sound boring, but it’s vital for a baby dance company to find its feet.

How we’re overcoming it:

I can honestly say that I’ve never worked with such a selfless, caring group of dancers.  Each dancer does their part to help out.  Whether it’s passing along grant opportunities, finding ten new possible VIPs for our premiere, or a certain dancer typing up a blog every week, each person does their part to help Stretch become an established company in record time.

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Almost kissing in a handstand with pointed toes…only in Lyndell Perfect Land.

Lyndell Perfect Land is a hard place to live.

I’ve referenced Lyndell Perfect Land in past blog posts, but I don’t think I’ve ever fully explained what it is.  Lyndell Perfect Land is an amazing place where gravity only exists sometimes, our spines can bend in two, our costumes are designed by Hugo Boss, and there are 92 hours to every day.  It’s amazing to see it become reality, but getting there is as difficult as getting somewhere over the rainbow without a tornado.

How we’re overcoming it:

Practice makes Lyndell Perfect Land!  It’s always amazing to me when Lyndell says something along the lines of “Ideally, I’d like this to end in a backbend that you hold for two minutes…” or “That cartwheel looks too pretty; can you do it on your elbows instead?”  (this is usually the point in the rehearsal process where I say something snarky).  But somehow, through sweat blood, and the right amount of chutzpah, we make the leap into Lyndell Perfect Land.

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Lyndell wants YOU to bust out sixteen pirouettes.
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