Wednesday, September 30, 2015

INTERVIEW: Sean Dorsey "Dance Your Story"

Sean Dorsey is an award-winning San Francisco-based choreographer, dancer and writer. Recognized as the U.S.’ first acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has won audiences and accolades from San Francisco to New York with his powerful dance-theater.

Sean is bringing his dance workshop "Dance Your Story", to Fresno for the second year. If you missed it last year you have another chance to participate in this FREE workshop which is for beginners and experienced alike. Last year's event was a success and those attending locally had amazing experiences. 

I asked Sean a few questions about himself and his passion, his dance workshops, and what you can expect if you attend here in Fresno...

Attend the FREE Fresno Workshop on Saturday, October 3rd at the California Arts Academy located at 4750 N Blackstone in Fresno.

Tell us a little about your background.
I am a transgender and queer choreographer, dancer and writer - and I live in San Francisco. One of my great loves is not just creating dances and performing with my company Sean Dorsey Dance -- but also TEACHING and facilitating joyful, all-levels workshops. As a transgender person, I never imagined there was a place for me in Dance -- and so I am super passionate about creating safe and FUN space for trans and queer and LGBTQ people to move, dance, write and self-express!

What is it about dance that you feel is so inspiring?
As human beings, movement and gesture and touch are at the core of who we are, and how we express ourselves. As transgender and queer people, movement and touch can also be at the core of our pain or self-consciousness or anxiety or depression. I am so inspired to work in these workshops to allow people to find movement and gesture and writing and dance that work for THEM and THEIR unique bodies. Dance is liberating. Dance is empowering.

Do people need any experience in dance to participate in your workshops?

Not at all! Terrified beginners are ESPECIALLY welcome! Most LGBT people are made to feel unsafe or unwelcome in dance studios, yoga studios, gyms, etc. So I want everyone to know that this is a safe space! All body sizes, all ages, no experience or lots of past experience.

What can people expect who come to your free workshop in Fresno?

We will start with some quiet space and reflection and affirmations, then will do several movement exercises, a physical warm-up, do some writing exercises, and allow each other space to create! People can sit down or sit aside at any point - it's all about being comfortable. And we'll have a all-genders bathroom and changing area!

Your workshops aren't just about dance. What do you hope people will come away with?

I want people to come away feeling good about their unique and wonderful selves. To feel pride in themselves. To feel proud of their LGBTQ body. To feel they have been able to have a voice and try some new things out.

What is one of the most moving experiences that has touched you during one of your workshops?

There have been SO many beautiful moments! I love seeing people of different ages talk together and move together. I've had people say they were able to begin a healing process over a recent death of someone close to them. I've had people say they felt proud of their body - despite years of feeling they were too "big" to dance, and despite years of never seeing a body like theirs in dance. I've had people share the most beautiful writing. There has been lots of laughter and also tears. It's a FUN day. Please come join us!

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