In late April, young L.A. dancer Hannah Hartman was named the winner for BellaMoxi Dance Convention’s 2017 Emerging Artists Choreographic Festival in Torrance, CA for her routine Location. Recently, Hartman shared more about her dance background and her future ambitions with Dance Informa. To get to know this emerging choreographer a little better check out our interview with her.
Hannah, when did you start dancing? What has inspired you as an artist?
“I started dancing when I was 4 years old and grew up a competition dancer. My inspiration was always all my emotions connected with dance. If it was a song about hurt or love I can passionately feel the song speak to me and that was always my biggest drive.”
Growing up, what dance techniques and styles did you train in?
“I trained in ballet, tap, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, modern, lyrical and jazz funk. My strongest styles are contemporary and hip-hop/jazz funk.”
When did you start choreographing? Do you focus solely on one style?
“I started choreographing for fun at a young age, playing with my style and meshing together all the knowledge I had already obtained through dancing. I mostly choreograph contemporary and hip-hop/jazz funk styles, but I am trained and able to choreograph any of the styles I had grown up learning.”
Who have you worked with in your career thus far? Who are some dancers/choreographers you look up to?
“I am a former Carnival: Choreographers Ball Production Assistant and made most of my connections through this amazing event. I have worked with choreographers such as Brooklyn Jai, Cameron Lee and Carey Ysais. The choreographers that inspire me the most would have to be Brian Friedman and JoJo Gomez because they are unapologetically themselves and have such a drive and passion for what they do.”
Down the road, what are your larger dance goals?
“My goals for dance overall would to be known globally as an inspiration and fighter in the dance community. I would love to teach on convention and be a tour dancer along the way but the bigger goal is to create an environment that drives people to fight for their dreams and career humbly and happily.”
How did it feel recently being named the 2017 BellaMoxi Emerging Artist Choreographic Festival Winner for Torrance?
“I was floating in the clouds when I won my award at BellaMoxi! Going up against such beautiful dancers and hard-hitters made the experience even more humbling. It is also my first award for my choreography being performed on stage, so nothing could tear me down. Definitely an out of body experience.”
When did you start working on the routine you presented at BellaMoxi, Location? What was the creative process like?
“We had started working on the piece about a month before the show. My dancer, Alexandra Tucker, is also my best friend and inspiration for the theme. I took advantage of her natural style and brought it out in the mood of the piece. The choreography was almost secondary to what I wanted to portray as a message. It was a very relaxed process and we didn’t push our minds too much. Nothing from the piece was forced, only had come naturally in my body before fixing the movement to fit Alexandra.”
Overall, looking to the future, how does this recognition with BellaMoxi push you to keep producing work?
“This award is going to help me with recognition from other auditions and also my agency MSA. It has opened so many doors including my position now as a member of the behind-the-scenes team with Will ‘Willdabeast’ Adams and Janelle Ginestra, and I was recognized by BellaMoxi’s very own Cameron Lee and was given the opportunity to be a part of his mentorship program and training with the best of the best.”
For more information on BellaMoxi, visit Bellamoxi.com. Follow Hartman’s personal work on Instagram @hayner15.
By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.