Member of the month

Sasha Ludavicius  
Emerging dance artist and Proarte Danza company member.

Why did you get into dance?

Ever since I could remember, I was dancing. At a young age, my mother enrolled me in competitive dancing, gymnastics, and figure skating. I was energetic as a child and always wanted to try new activities, excelling in everything that I did. But when I started taking ballet, my mother told me, I absolutely fell in love with it. From that moment on, I have never stopped dancing!


Why did you decide to pursue dancing as a career?


Dancing has been a part of my life since the age of four. I have dedicated so much of my life to the art form of dance, that it is only logical for me to pursue dance as a career. However, when I was 19 years old, I almost changed career paths due to financial difficulties. The hardships made me realize how much passion I had towards dance. It was my determination and perseverance that triggered the continuation of my dance career.


Where did you do your post secondary training?


As I was finishing high school, I moved to Montreal to train at Ballet Divertimento. Originally, I dedicated myself to classical ballet, but this is where I discovered my passion for contemporary dance. I studied in Montreal for a year and a half, and then I received my acceptance into The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Having trained at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre for three years, I developed a strong technical foundation that has enabled me to expand my intellectual boundaries as a dance artist.


As an emerging dancer, how are you finding your place within the community?


I was extremely fortunate to have apprenticed with ProArteDanza during my third year at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. This enabled me to have a smoother transition from school into the dance community, since I was already dancing with a company. As an emerging artist, I am often networking with other dancers and teachers within the dance community. I find it very important to attend as many dance classes and workshops as possible from various teachers, so that I become recognized within the community. Moreover, I persistently seek dance opportunities, whether it be volunteering for dance shows or becoming a part of dance collectives, such as Impromptu Movements. Recently, I have been teaching dance at different schools and studios to all age levels, which allows me to stay connected to various methods of dance. Our dance community is constantly changing, so I make the effort to stay connected through social media, networking, and attending dance performances.


Do you support yourself in any other ways besides dance?


Yes. Since I currently work from one dance contract to another, this allows me to have another full-time occupation. Presently, I am the manager at a local restaurant. Also, I work part-time at a yoga studio as a receptionist. In addition, teaching dance to children, teens and adults, is another way I financially support myself through dance. I always love to keep myself occupied when I am in between dance contracts.


How are you keeping up with your training since you graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre?


When I am not in season with ProArteDanza or on another dance contract, I continue my dance training by taking dance classes and workshops on a regular basis in Toronto, and when I travel to Montreal. In Toronto, I take class at GMD or with Christine Wright. I also attended the Social Growl Dance Summer Workshop in 2016, and this past summer I participated in Peggy Bakers August Intensive. I have demonstrated for the School of Toronto Dance Theatres Summer Intensive and for the ProArteDanza Summer Intensive. Earlier this fall, I was assisting Peggy Baker at the National Ballet School; teaching contemporary dance to high school students. I am always interested in taking classes with new teachers in new cities, to study different techniques, receive feedback, expand my overall dance abilities, and network with other dancers.


How did you start performing with ProArteDanza?


During the summer of 2015, I attended the ProArteDanza Summer Intensive Program (SIP). At the end of the program, I was the recipient of the SIP program Apprenticeship Award, and was given the opportunity to apprentice with ProArteDanza during their fall Season 2015. Currently, it is my third season performing with ProArteDanza.


Have you had any standout moments from your time with the company?


There are so many unforgettable moments that Ive experienced with the company daily. However, some of my favourite moments are when we get a standing ovation! I purely love feeling the gratification of all the hard work we did as a company and individually pay off. I especially love the times that I go out on the stage and simply dance with no regrets!


What would you love to see happen in your future?


As a dance artist, I know that my career can be unpredictable; however, I am eager to see what dance opportunities come my way! I am just starting my dance career in Toronto and I would love to see what possibilities lie for me in Europe! I aspire to expand my dance experience with different companies around the world and use all the knowledge I have gained to continue teaching dance. Perhaps in the future, I will continue my academic studies to obtain by BFA or Master in Dance. Additionally, I often practice yoga, so I plan on getting my yoga teaching certification.

Photos:


1. By Cylla von Tiedemann.

2. Courtesy of artist.

3. By Bruce Zinger


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