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Five Years of Dance with Hana Bogacz

16-year-old Hana Bogacz began training at The School of CCDT, and over the years has danced her way up to a second season as a full member of the Company. Outside of school hours as a Grade 11 student at Etobicoke School of the Arts, Hana has dedicated invaluable time and passion to CCDT, cultivating a wealth of experiences working with renowned choreographers including Carol Anderson, Hanna Kiel, Roderick George, and David Earle.

Photo by Francesca Chudnoff

What influenced and/or inspired you to audition for the Company?

I started taking recreational modern classes once a week at CCDT when I was 11 years old, but it wasn't until I was 13 when the director of the [Young Apprentice Program], Meredith Thompson, approached me asking if I was interested in joining YAP and I have been a part of the company side of the studio since then.

Briefly describe your history dancing with CCDT.

I was in YAP, Core and an Apprentice for one year each and I'm now in my second year as a full company member. Before joining YAP, I was taking a Limón Modern class once a week at CCDT and had no formal ballet training. I went from almost no dancing at all to spending every other day at the studio and now almost everyday.

Is there a particular piece in an upcoming CCDT production you are most excited to be a part of?

I am incredibly excited to perform Against the Dark by Colin Connor. The piece features an all-female cast and is very empowering to perform. As the rest of the female company dancers and I start to become more comfortable with the movement, it's becoming more prominent how much power we have, as females and dancers, and how this piece really exudes that. This pieces casts women as strong, influential persons and in this day and age I find it incredibly important that this work is in the repertoire.

What is your favourite piece you have performed with CCDT? Why is it exceptional to you?

One of my favourite pieces to dance EVER was RESET, the commission featured in [the May 2018 production] Alien Grace that was choreographed by Roderick George. It is a piece that allowed us to really connect with one another and feed off each other's energy. The dance is fairly long, but you would dance the piece and by the end you would want to perform it again; it was invigorating. Roderick's style is very technical and detailed, but there is something about his movement that allows you to personify it and truly make it your own. Overall the whole piece was incredibly fun to perform, Roderick was amazing to work with, and dancing to a Rihanna song just made everything 10x better.

Hana Bogacz in RESET by Roderick George. Photo by David Hou.

What do you enjoy most about touring with CCDT?

Van rides with [Managing and Tour Director] Michael [deConinck Smith]. He's the best because he doesn't mind when we take over the aux and sing at the top of our lungs for hours on end.

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?

Remembering to breathe is really important. Taking the time to focus on what is happening in the moment is important too because when you have a busy schedule like we do it's hard to know when you will have time to appreciate everything for what it is. In theory, it would be great if we could just have enough time to experience and give everything the attention it deserves, but there unfortunately isn't enough time in the week. So you learn to prioritize and compromise what you want to do with what you need to do.

What skills do you think your training, performing, and overall experience with CCDT have given you that are transferable to other aspects of your life?

CCDT has taught me how to be a more open-minded individual. Everyone sees dance in a different light; the art form is very diverse and there is much we don't know yet. It's important as a dancer and as a human to not shy away and [instead] embrace things we haven't been exposed to. We learn a lot from new experiences and we are robbing ourselves of growing into a better version of ourselves if we stay inside our comfort zone.

What other hobbies or interests do you have outside of dance?

I LOVE MUSIC, all kinds, and I really want to learn how to play the electric guitar, but my dad said that Keith Richards said to learn acoustic first and I should listen to him.

Who is someone who regularly inspires you?

I have been blessed with some of the best friends in the world and they constantly inspire me to grow and improve, yet are so incredibly supportive and embracing of who I am now. They have taught me so much and I am forever grateful.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about auditioning for CCDT?

Do not be intimidated. We have all auditioned. We have all forgotten choreography. We have all fallen out of a turn. We are all learning from our mistakes and we will all get there and be the dancer we were meant to be. It takes time and patience, but CCDT is willing to do everything possible to get you where you want to go, whether that be in dance or not.

Hana Bogacz (left) with Hope Gumahad, Dana Martin-Wylie, and Sascha McEvoy in Sephardic Songs by Carol Anderson. Photo by David Hou.

Hana takes the stage with CCDT once again at this year's WinterSong - dances for a sacred season, performing works by Apolonia Velasquez, Sylvie Bouchard, Hanna Kiel, Colin Connor, and Carol Anderson. WinterSong runs December 14 & 15, 2018 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Click here for info and tickets.

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