It’s been said that the dance competition world is full of competitiveness, cattiness and flashiness, rather than artistry and personal growth. BellaMoxi, however, fully defies the stereotype. The competition, convention and choreographic festival hones in on the values of creative exploration, artistic rigor and building each other up. Here, Dance Informa speaks with BellaMoxi faculty members Matthew Prescott (Ballet, Musical Theater) and Dusty Button (Ballet).
Mission statements often have to be short and to-the-point to be effective. How might you expand upon BellaMoxi’s — what would you add, without the limitation of a word limit?
“The mission of BellaMoxi is to provide an environment where students can explore the many facets of dance, with guidance from top-notch faculty that represent many sides of the industry of dance. Bella understands the fundamental elements that are required to be a successful, versatile dancer of the 21st century. With our hands-on approach, we are able to inspire all dancers to find where they fit into the dance world and to be the best dancer/artist they can be.”
It appears as if a large part of that mission is instilling values and skills in the next generation of dance artists. Can you describe more specifically how BellaMoxi does that?
“BellaMoxi is unique because it is looking to expose dancers around the country to the understanding of what it takes to have a successful career as a dancer. We are not focused solely on winning awards but are more interested in training the best dancers to represent our art form. We place more emphasis on training completely well-rounded dancers than on ‘one-trick ponies’. In a weekend with us, a dancer will have ballet, hip hop, musical theater, improvisation, jazz and other types of classes. Being able to do everything within the framework of dancing is key to being a working dancer.”
What most clearly sets BellaMoxi apart from other competition/convention companies? An obvious answer appears to be BellaMoxi’s choreographic festival. Can you speak to how the festival lives, breathes and works in conjunction with those other two endeavors?
“Politics, the lack thereof. In a world of politics, it is refreshing to take part in a competition/convention that is in no way political to studios, dancers or choreographers. It is a truly constructively competitive atmosphere. The atmosphere of the Choreographic Festival allows passionate individuals to explore more dimensions of the dance industry. That often results in discovering realms of their passion that they never knew existed.”
What do you see as a growth area for BellaMoxi? Are there measures in place to address it?
“Young businesses of any kind are vulnerable to the manipulations that orbit them and can be pulled into paths following those that lead before them. While BellaMoxi is young, our mission statement will serve as a gravity that will keep us on the path that will benefit many dancers. Because of this, I believe the measures to address these things are in place.”
What is once piece of advice that you might give a new participant?
“I would ask them to filter nothing and take everything. As young children, we typically have no filter or cognizance of how our peers perceive us as dancers. As teenagers, we typically develop an insecurity that trumps everything else, and which limits our growth because we always worry how we are perceived. If we are lucky, we conquer this insecurity at some point in our young adulthood and begin dancing for ourselves, rather than those around us. For artists wanting to harness their potential, I recommend acknowledging the stage of insecurity and ridding themselves of it — knowing that only great things will follow.”
What should dancers know about BellaMoxi?
“BellaMoxi is led by a team that wants to provide the best in dance education. We are passionate about our students and know that our success is measured by what each of our students walk away with from a weekend spent with us. We encourage everybody to join us as we create the new gold standard in dance convention/competition experiences around the USA”
Visit bellamoxi.com to learn more.
By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa.