Dancer has great experience down south

A LOCAL dancer took the opportunity to learn more about her craft at a dance school in New York and is thinking ahead to her future.

JESSICA AMES spent time in New York sharpening her dance skills and knowledge recently.

JESSICA AMES spent time in New York sharpening her dance skills and knowledge recently.

A LOCAL dancer took the opportunity to learn more about her craft at a dance school in New York and is thinking ahead to her future.

Jessica Ames, who’s been dancing at Arts Umbrella dance school in Vancouver, met new people, got her name out there and learned to go with the flow as part of the Movement Invention Project at the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble.

“I learned many improvisation skills, including contact improvisation and solo work. I learned to be in a safe non-judgemental studio space with 60 other dancers all creating and investigating new movement,” she said.

“I learned how to be available when I am dancing and just be ready and accepting for anything to be thrown my way,” she said. “I learned how to open my mind and heart while dancing and understand that my profession has infinite possibilities.”

The program was by audition only and only about 15 Canadians were accepted, of which eight were from Arts Umbrella, she said.

Eight dancers from New York are coming to Vancouver to participate in Arts Umbrella’s Summer Dance Intensive, which will involve dancing five days a week for three weeks and taking ballet pointe, modern and improvisation classes.

And this year, Ames will be part of a selected group that will be dancing in downtown Vancouver with Ballet BC and its artistic director Emily Mulnor, she said.

At the end of the three weeks, the group will do a small show for family and friends, she added.

In September, Ames begins her final year of college and her final year at the Arts Umbrella Graduate Program.

“This time next year, I hope to go to Montreal for an emerging dance professional program called ‘SpringBoard,’” she said.

“After that, I hope to get a contract or apprenticeship with a professional modern dance company anywhere in the world.”

Ames added that she thanks her parents, Rod and Barb Ames, for supporting her in her dance career.