Assimilating, learning, and growing as a new dancer with CCDT
Alex Faraday reflects on his first several months as a company dancer with CCDT, from adjusting to different ways of training and managing time, to new friends and first performances of WinterSong - dances for a sacred season.
Alex Faraday (centre) with the cast of Santee Smith's Star Dreamer in rehearsal.
Three shows down, six to go until the end of WinterSong, and my first time performing with the CCDT Company. Finally being able to dance on stage and in front of an audience makes these past few months of hard work and long hours feel like they have led to something great.
This being my first year in the Company means that there are a lot of adjustments to make and things to learn. For starters, I have never learned any piece of dance repertoire before. Any dance I had learned had been made specifically for one performance and then never danced again. Because CCDT has certain dances that are performed multiple years in a row many of the company members who have been with CCDT longer than I have are already familiar with the pieces. This just means that the other new people and I have to catch up a little. Another adjustment I had to make when coming into the Company was no longer having weekends free. This took some getting used to, but when you’re doing something that you love with such great, hard-working, talented people, rehearsals start to become something you look forward to.
Coming into the Company this year as the “new guy” I went in expecting it to feel like starting high school again. Luckily I was very wrong. The members of CCDT are some of the nicest, most welcoming people I have met, and with the amount of time we spend with each other it would be hard not to become close friends.
Several of the Company dancers prepare for a school matinee performance backstage at Fleck Dance Theatre.
Back to WinterSong. The pieces I am dancing in this year - Star Dreamer choreographed by Santee Smith, and Nowell Sing We choreographed by Carol Anderson - both have so much meaning and history behind them. Nowell Sing We has been a part of WinterSong since the beginning [in 1988], and Star Dreamer has already found a special place in my heart because of the story it tells [of the legend of the Pleiades constellation] and the diversity it adds to the show.
So far my experience with CCDT has been nothing but positive and I have found myself growing as a dancer and an artist. Once WinterSong closes it will be nice to rest and recover over the holidays, but I am already looking forward to what the Company has in store for the new year.
WinterSong - dances for a sacred season runs December 8-9, 2017 at Fleck Dance Theatre. Click here for info and tickets.
Alex Faraday is a grade 11 student at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. This is his first season dancing as a company member with CCDT.