Getting To Know Melodie Yeung
Melodie Yeung is a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at St. Robert Catholic High School, now in her first year as a CCDT company member. She shared with us what it's been like to make the big shift into the world of modern and contemporary dance with us this fall, as well as what she gets up to in the (little bits of) time off between school and training.
What influenced and/or inspired you to audition for the company?
I knew someone who had previously joined the company, and they encouraged me to join as well knowing that I wanted to continue to learn the art of dance.
Is there a particular piece in an upcoming CCDT production you are most excited to be a part of?
I am most excited to be a part of CCDT's WinterSong commission by Hanna Kiel. As a new company member, not only do I get to work in the piece with a choreographer that I have never worked with before, but also get to participate in the making of it. It is also exciting to be able to work alongside everyone in the company, as all of our personal stylistic ideas are contributed to the making of this piece.
What was the adjustment to CCDT's schedule and studio dynamic like for you, having recently come from another studio?
For all of life, before coming to CCDT, I had trained at my previous studio, which was ballet focused. Making the big switch this year to contemporary dance was difficult as I am not used to this kind of training. At my old studio, we had multiple ballet classes throughout the week, while contemporary classes were focused on one day, so coming to a studio where it is somewhat opposite was something to get used to. Now, being closer to the middle of the season, I am more comfortable with not only the training here, but also the overall atmosphere of the company and school.
How do you do your best to balance the training and performance demands of CCDT with school, family commitments, and the rest of your life?
I like to organize and plan out my schedule for the day. If I know that I have rehearsals after school, or during the day, I will find time and ways to be able to fit in school work when I am not dancing. Usually, if I need to study, I use the breaks in between rehearsals or while on transit. I also try to finish any homework at school, so that I have less to do after school.
What skills do you think your training, performing, and overall experience with CCDT are teaching you that are transferable to other aspects of your life?
With the busy rehearsal schedules while balancing school, it has helped me develop my organizational and time management skills. In any company or work space that requires working with others, coming to CCDT has helped develop my collaboration skills, especially when pitching in or developing ideas to create work. Being able to work and interact with others is not only a skill in a dance company or at school, but a life skill used outside of the work-related world.
What other hobbies or interests do you have outside of dance?
Outside of dance, I enjoy cooking and baking. Creating foods (that I and others get to eat after) is a fun activity which also incorporates creativity and one of my favourite subjects in school - science. Other than that, I do enjoy listening and discovering new music, as well as reading books.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering auditioning for CCDT?
If you or someone you know is thinking about joining CCDT, definitely know how to organize your time because joining CCDT is a commitment, and organization is not only for this company but a general life skill.
Melodie's favourite quote:
Every moment is a fresh beginning. - T.S Eliot
Melodie Yeung (right) with Kaiya Lee. Photos by Francesca Chudnoff.
Catch Melodie's premiere performance with CCDT at this year's WinterSong - dances for a sacred season, in which she will be performing works by Hanna Kiel, Colin Connor, and Carol Anderson. WinterSong runs December 14 & 15, 2018 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Click here for info and tickets.