On the Beat Featured Article 8.21.19

August 21, 2019

Dancer and Dance Informa Writer Holly LaRoche Says Dancers Can Do More Than They Think

Aside from our weekly edition of Between Classes, On the Beat aims to keep the Steps Community in the know of all happenings in the world of dance with our Featured Articles. So let’s get started, shall we?  

Still from Space Tape Director: Yuma Slowbinder Choreographer: Holly LaRoche

Holly LaRoche is a New York City based dancer, choreographer, and dance writer. After touring the United States with the Joffrey Concert Group, she graduated summa cum laude from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Major in Dance and a Minor in Business of Entertainment. Select performance experience includes original works by Crystal Pite and Complexions, and repertoire by Balanchine and Paul Taylor. Off stage, she’s danced for Capezio, Netflix, Improv Everywhere, and the band OneRepublic. Holly is a writer for Dance Informa, and is currently writing a series of articles on how dancers can apply their skills to opportunities beyond the proscenium stage.

Holly LaRoche, 2019 Photography credits to Juan Pablo Zapata Instagram @jpzimage

Holly LaRoche’s series Things that Dancers Are Good At (And Gigs that Need Exactly Those Things) is an ongoing exploration into how the skills every dancer develops over the course of their training and career can be applied to opportunities outside of traditional dance performance spaces. As Ms. LaRoche expresses in the first article in the series:

“Dance is a lot more common than we tend to realize. It touches industries outside of our own, and dance jobs pop up in places we sometimes don’t think to look. And dancers are much more versatile than we give ourselves credit for.”

Ms. LaRoche draws from her own experiences working as a dancer in creative environments where she says she never expected to find herself. From providing entertainment at the premiere event venue The Park Avenue Armory, to guiding extras through floor patterns in a OneRepublic music video, to dancing for a TV-themed wedding co-funded by content giant Netflix and performance art group Improv Everywhere. “My best advice is to say yes to the weird stuff,” she says. Ms. LaRoche’s clear ability to bring her high level of expertise as a dancer to such a wide variety of artistic pursuits makes her the leading example of the new breed of dancer: one that does everything, and does it well.

Things that Dancers Are Good At aims to remind and encourage dancers that their worth, both emotionally and financially, extends much further than the parameters of the “dance world”. Ms. LaRoche argues for the value of skills like analyzing movement and evoking emotion through physicality in settings like film, motion capture, and fashion. She also points out that dancers are adept at more general skillsets as well:

“We show up and we get it done, and that’s an attractive quality to any employer. I hope that when employers in outside fields see professional dance training or work experience on a prospective employee’s resume, they know they have a hard worker on their hands, with creative problem-solving skills and a solid sense of team. We’ve got grace, we’ve got grit, and we really need the supplemental income.”

Quotes were derived from Ms. LaRoche’s articles, published by Dance Informa, as well as Ms. LaRoche directly. To read the full stories, and others, visit https://www.danceinforma.com.

That’s all for this week’s On the Beat Featured Article! See you next week!

– On the Beat Team Member, Lauren