Meet Cassandra, our FIRST feature on “Where are they now?”…a spotlight on FSS alumni!!!!
Q – When were you involved with FSS?
A – I went to FSS from about 1991 through 2005.
Q – What classes did you take? Which were your favorite?
A – It’s impossible to pick a favorite! I started in my mom’s movement fun class when she used to teach there and I was tiny, and by high school I was there every day taking every class I could. I had so many favorite teachers through the years. I loved the ballet and modern classes the most, especially when I got older and we would learn big combinations in class. I think I grew the most as a dancer the year we had Horton technique with Lonnie. He could be really mean sometimes! But he also taught me to work hard and to be determined.
Q – What were your favorite memories of FSS? (teachers, friends, events, etc.)
A – Such an enormous amount of my childhood took place at FSS! I feel like I might have spent as much time hanging out at the studio after school with my friends waiting for class to start as I actually spent dancing. Endless hours of fun and bonding (and maybe some occasional homework) took place in the basement of the old brick building on Factory Street. After we moved to Ohio Avenue and were older, we would hang out on the lawn every day and do choreography and acrobatics for hours before class. Many of us are still best friends after all that time we spent together! The very favorite moments were always in the spring during the shows. Every moment spent in rehearsal time was so fun for me. I would fall in love with our choreography whether it was our own, or from a teacher, and when we would circle up behind the curtain before the first night of the show and take a deep breath…it was magical!
Q – What have you been doing since? (between then and now)
A – I studied dance and philosophy at Bard College, and ever since then I have fully dedicated my life to the circus to become an aerialist. I spent several years in San Francisco training with acrobatic coaches all day, and then teaching kids circus classes in the evenings and doing small shows on the weekends to pay for my studies. It has been very difficult at times, but I am so happy I chose to go for it.
Q – What are you doing now?
A – Now I perform part time in a professional company in San Francisco that does wild, artistic, modern circus-art at big events as well as in its own fifty foot tall circus tent. For my performance I am pulled up about thirty feet in the air by one wrist! At least four hours a day, I still train with two different circus coaches in a gym, and soon I am hoping to get a full-time contract performing every day. My dream is to travel the world and work only as a performer!
Q – Do you have any advise for current FSS students?
A – If you ever feel awkward, or bad at dance, or like you don’t have as much talent as someone else, just know that every dancer feels this way at some point when you stack up against the right person. What’s important is that you get good by working hard every day. If you commit to improving your skills in class, your body will get stronger, more flexible, and more graceful, hands down, and improvement is a great feeling! Also, If you have a dream to perform professionally, know that it will be an incredible amount of work, and that you might have to be poor for a while, or go around with blisters or aching muscles for years at a time, because a career in performing arts can be very difficult! But it is also incredibly rewarding, and after all that work, performance can feel like you’re on top of the world.
Q – Anything else you would like to share?
A – Don’t forget to express yourself! Dance is an ever-changing art form, so make it your own. Good luck!