Back in February, Cydney Byron, co-owner of Bella Rosa Dance Academy in Beavercreek, Ohio, was named the winner of BellaMoxi Dance Convention’s 2018 Emerging Artists Choreographic Festival in Chicago, IL for her routine Rewind. When we recently caught up with her, Byron looked back on this exciting recognition and shared a bit about how she created the work.
“This year I chose not to choreograph anything except this piece for the BellaMoxi Choreographic Festival. I really wanted to be in a fresh, creative mindset to give it my all,” Byron shared. “The five dancers in this piece have been at my studio since the beginning and it was very important for me to choreograph the last number they will perform together to close an amazing chapter.”
Byron, who says the dancers had a limited amount of time to learn and rehearse the piece, created it to commend their journey as artists.
“It feels like the end of an era, which as we all know is bittersweet. The loyalty, work ethic and passion these dancers exemplify at the studio has helped it grow into what it is today. This piece is how I chose to express my gratitude to these dancers and their families as we took some time to wish we could ‘rewind’. These dancers have inspired me to share my passion for dance for many years and this is piece is no exception,” Byron said.
Her studio, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, requires its dancers to “work hard to learn choreography quick”, then to “perfect it and live in the moment on stage”. Byron divulged, “This piece was choreographed and rehearsed in only eight hours two weeks before the show.” [Watch the dance below.]
When asked why she chose to incorporate so many solos into her work, Byron shared that she wanted to highlight each dancer as an individual, “which is how they first started at the studio.”
“They come together to dance in unison in the present and then ‘rewind’ the present day to take them back. They finish with solos as they all are closing this chapter together at the studio and starting on their own paths,” explained Byron.
This recognition with BellaMoxi has encouraged Byron to keep creating.
“BellaMoxi has provided a fantastic opportunity for choreographers and dancers to learn and grow through the process of creating, rehearsing and performing. This has encouraged me to continue to choreograph because it was very enjoyable to be able to set a piece that was truly made just for the dancers and myself without any judgments and no specific boxes to check. BellaMoxi has given artists the opportunity through this festival to have creative expression and produce something that matters to them. Thank you so much BellaMoxi!” Byron exclaimed.
Byron hopes some of her staff will endeavor to enter the festival next year. She encourages all dance teachers and studio owners to give it a try, as it’s a great opportunity to receive professional feedback. Those desiring more information can head to www.bellamoxi.com.
In honor of her studio’s exciting anniversary, Byron also offered up some advice to fledging studio owners: “It’s important to have a mission statement you truly believe in and your daily decisions are in alignment with it. As a business owner, it’s important to think about the big picture, stay goal oriented and have a genuine heart.”
She added that it’s vital to “delegate duties that do not serve you and invest in ones that do.” Doing this was what led her to find time to create her festival entry piece Rewind.
Byron concluded, “I invested this year into what I felt would not only benefit the entire studio but also myself. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will! Everyone benefits when you are the best you can be!”
For more information on Bella Rosa Dance Academy, visit www.bellarosadance.com.
By Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.