By Krystle Gallo
This summer, with help from the Villella Fellowship, I was fortunate enough to attend The Pulse dance convention in New York City. For four days, with five hours of dancing per day, I was immersed in the most extreme dance culture I have ever witnessed. Most participants in this convention don’t see dance as just a hobby; they see it as a career. In the short time I was there, I learned countless dance routines from some of the top choreographers in the business. I was able to experience the most difficult and fast paced choreography at the convention, soaking up everything that I could.
From Hip Hop to Broadway to a real Rockette routine, the experience offered a little bit of everything. With sixteen classes and at least twelve different choreographers, the biggest challenge was adjusting to all of the different teaching styles. At one point, Laurieann Gibson, the mastermind behind Lady Gaga’s dance moves, is running around the room yelling and screaming and teaching at an extremely fast pace.
By far the most difficult class, however, was the Rockette routine taught by a real Radio City Rockette. The reaction time and coordination required to get your leg to “eye high” level and back down again while remembering which leg comes next is astounding.
In everything I did, I was challenged physically beyond my comfort zone, constantly returning to the hotel room with cuts and bruises.
The most memorable moment was undoubtedly the class taught by the illustrious Emmy award winner Mia Michaels. Her choreography, as seen on So You Think You Can Dance, has made me cry, given me chills, and made me think further than any dance routine ever has. None of this, however, compares to being in the room with her.
From the moment I began learning her choreography, I transformed as a dancer. The movement breathed, all on its own. I suddenly didn’t care how I looked or if I was doing everything completely wrong. It just felt good, and it showed.
I left the Pulse with a better sense of the dance industry and an incredible amount of new choreography to share with my fellow dancers at Union. My experience was absolutely unforgettable and although I’m not looking for dance as a career option, The Pulse is something that I will never forget.