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Ririe Woodbury Dance Company Reviews

"The scene began to shift again until the tables formed a wall through the center of the space and the spotlight shifted to Miche’ Smith. Her solo was a tangible expression of anxiety and working up the courage to speak. Her theatrical performance heightened the intensity of the entire work. As she was plucked from the ground and set down behind the wall out of sight, the spotlight kept shifting among the rest of the dancer as each one physicalized their own experiences of anxiety about owning ones own identity."- Arin Lynn

"In a word. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Fill in the Blank concert was superb." - Les Roka

"Two Hearted did have its own beauty; the R&B music broken up with text delivered by Miche’ Smith, who at one point stands atop her peers shoulders in a silver sequined dress. She speaks clearly to the audience, “Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is even there at all?” - Erica Womack

Staring at the summer

The summer has always been synonymous with freedom, joy, sunshine and bittersweet. I love the summer, the rays bring me joy and lift the cloud of what I am learning is a slight case of seasonal depression, right off my horizon. I have vacation time from work and get to see my family after longing for them randomly thoughout the year. There is also the freedom of my calendar, that stares back dauntingly at me. What are you going to plan? Why haven't you done it yet? 

Post Grad Prep?

That’s what I’ve been focusing my last semester of college on: what’s next? I’m actually in a class titled exactly that, which I created with my acting professor because I needed an elective! (Pointe and my biscuit feet don’t align well, so perks of being a double major!) So how is that class going? Not as well as I’d hope at this point in time. I spent the first of this year auditioning for graduate programs in acting, I had a successful time, it was my first visit to NYC! I was accepted into 3 programs, none of which were my top two (Yale and NYU, I may be coming back for you in a few years) but declined them all because I felt as though the con of being out of dance for three years outweighed the pros of pursuing an MFA in acting right now. This was an incredibly hard decision that brought forth so many emotions. Doubt, anxiety, and confusion being at the forefront. So, that puts me back at square one of what’s next on the agenda for Miche’ Smith? I’ve had my past two summers planned to the T, with work lined up and classes scheduled and this year, the one that seems to count the most, I have NOTHING. Which. Terrifies. Me.

I am someone who enjoys a plan, an outline, some type of end goal to be reaching towards and for the first time in my life I don’t know what my plan is. The lack of security that an actor and dancer is succumbed to in this industry is just now really hitting me. I am researching places of work and applying for some really wonderful positions but the gnawing feeling of how many rejections I’m going to receive and honestly, the insecurity I feel in myself when looking at these amazing companies and theatre’s makes me want to retreat. I am learning during this process, (and improv class) I am someone who only likes to take calculated risks, which is logical but that’s not why I pursued a life in the arts.

So here’s to putting on paper (screen) that I can no longer allow the risk of failure to determine how much I am willing to put out there for something I want. So, reader, I challenge you today! What is it in life you've been wanting to get figured out completely and perfectly, and only when that is done, you can breathe easier and focus on something else? Now, what if I told you you can't plan it perfectly and you have to let go, let God, and go with the flow and things will somehow work out? I'm going to take my own challenge, we'll see how this goes... 

Who's my favorite dancer?

When asked about who my favorite dancer is, I am immediately plagued with the thought, “I don’t know, I can’t pick just one!!! This person does this thing that I really like, but oh yeah this person does THIS thing that’s pretty amazing!” For some reason, when asked what your favorite thing is, I’ve noticed people usually freeze up while everything quickly leaves the brain and they can’t pick.

That is the feeling that plagued me as I began this blog, so with that being said…I will tell you about who my favorite dancer is currently at 7:34 PM on Monday, February 11 2019.

Martha Nichols is the epitome of strength wrapped in grace. She toes the line of masculinity and femininity with tact and is captivating to watch on stage. She moves as someone who has been training her entire life, which she has, she began training at the age of 3 and was competition dancer working heavily with New York City Dance Alliance. She made top ten of So You Think You Can Dance (Season 2) when she was just 18 and this launched her career.

She has performed with, and choreographed a long some of the industry’s heaviest hitters, look up her insane credits (Rihanna, Madonna, Tessandra Chavez, Mandy Moore..etc)!

Her career has some of the highlights I’ve dreamed of since I was 8 years old; however, what I find most engaging about her is her movement quality, she chameleons along with the music and can be both silky and staccato within two counts. Her technique is crystal clear, but her intention is never about doing flashy tricks, but instead relishing in the beautiful moments of just enjoying moving through space. Martha embodies the confidence and groundedness in herself I aspire to have. Her calm, compassionate spirit shines through her Instagram and I can’t wait to hopefully work with her in the future.

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