Two of CMR High School’s freshmen share a common love of dance

CMR freshman Ashwin Gebhardt-Jones has little to say about what goes on when he is dancing to a piece of music.

He says when he performs a piece to music he is usually blank minded, and he doesn’t really think about anything, because that is distracting.

Most of his performances are usually executed through muscle memory from all of his practice.

Freshman Amelia Flamand disagrees that dancing is just simple muscle memory.

“When I dance, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.” Flamand said. She added that she feels as though she is “in a different dimension” when performing a piece.

She loves to move to music and apply her feelings through a piece.

Gebhardt-Jones has been dancing at Sole Dance Company since the start of his eighth grade year.

He said he has gained many things while being with this company, including friends, likable teachers, and style. He also enjoys the age group there.

Flamand said she has been dancing at Sole for two years.

She started dancing at Harpers for five years and then moved over to Sole two years ago and has been there since then.

“Dancing takes a lot of different skills,” Gebhardt-Jones said.

Technique, rhythm, choreography, and being able to understand a tempo or chorus in a piece of music are just a few of the skills that being a dancer requires, Gebhardt says.

Flamand agrees that dancing requires many skills.

Flamand said that dancing also requires that  the dancer have excellent hand-eye coordination, footwork, background knowledge of music, understanding of a beat, and acting skills.

She tells us that dancing for her is almost like acting, because she is trying to show emotion and convince the audience of her emotion when moving to a piece.

Her favorite piece she ever performed was when she first began.

“Two Roses in a Teapot,” was the name of her first dance and it was her favorite.

The dance type was contemporary, she said.

Gebhardt-Jones’s first and favorite piece that he ever performed in front of a crowd was a jazz piece.

The dance he performed was “Blue Suede Shoes,” and he did this dance while he was still at Miss Linda’s Dance.

He said that he does many different types of dance other than jazz, including ballet, tap, hip-hop, modern and lyrical.

His favorite types of dance are tap dancing and hip-hop, which he has won most of his awards in.

He currently is working on a new tap solo, which he said he loves because it is a challenge.

Flamand also shares a mutual love of hip-hop, and she does other dance styles as well.

She said she likes hip-hop dance because it makes her feel “thuggin,” and she also enjoys it because the style and technique is open to interpretation.

Gebhardt-Jones said he was inspired to dance was when he was little.

“I was in a wine shop in Denver, and I was hitting my feet off the floor and making some pretty cool sounds, and my grandma suggested I be a tap dancer,” he said.

He said that when he came back to Montana after that trip his parents found him a tap company to work with and that is when he first began dancing.

He originally started at Miss Linda’s Company for six years then later went to Sole.

Flamand says that she inspired herself to dance.

“I did inspire myself because I’ve always wanted to be able to move to music,” She said

When she began to dance what started out as frustration with dancing later turned into passion and amazement for what her body could do.

Teamwork is one of the most important things when dancing with a group, she added.

“I gained the understanding that teamwork is more important than being by yourself, while still being yourself,” Flamand said.

Gebhardt said that he has a different view on one of the most important things in being a dancer.

“Everyone thinks you have to have this amazing ability or a born gift to dance, when really it’s hard work and dedication.”