Q&A with Craig Hall
meet the dancio teachers
1. How old were you when you took your first dance class? Did you immediately feel passionate about dance?
I started dancing at age 4. I loved it right at the beginning. I loved being free in a studio, moving around to music. It was my escape! I started ballet classes at 14. That was another story. I found it extremely hard and constricting. I couldn’t find the freedom for a long time, but once I stopped resisting and gave into the art form it became magical and took me to a place I always wanted to come back to.
2. What type of cross-training do you recommend to young dancers to do to strengthen their bodies when they’re not taking class?
Gyrotonics is something that really helped my body from injuries toward to later part of my career. I also think going to the gym and using weights to building strength in another way can only aid to your dancing. Using your muscles in an opposing way can only make you stronger. Yoga is great for breathing, something that most dancers don’t fully utilize. It also helps the mind and ego and gets you to a calm place when it’s so easy to get stressed out in our world.
3. What excited you to take part in a project like Dancio?
I thought Dancio was an awesome way to get a great ballet class in when you’re on the go or can’t get yourself into a group class. It’s nice sometimes to not have to warm yourself up and have a teacher just tell you what to do. It’s super convenient.
4. What advice do you have for dancers living in New York City?
It’s a stressful crazy place at times and the competition and the grind can become overwhelming. Don’t forget why you do it. I always think about me as a kid expressing myself in a large studio and how great that felt.
You can easily forget why you do this job, sometimes it becomes just work and you lose the passion. Go back to the time it made you the happiest. Most likely that’ll bring you back to why you chose this challenging but amazing career.
5. What corrections do you find yourself giving most frequently to dancers?
"Live in the moment" is sort of a catchphrase I use quite a bit. We train and train and train, and sometimes we continue to save it for the next time. There’s only now, don’t save it.
Also, I tell dancers to believe in themselves. We tend to not trust things that we really can do for whatever reason. Confidence reads onstage and in the studio, so does a lack of confidence. Sometimes the hardest thing is proving to ourselves that everything we’re searching for is already there! Just do it and believe.
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