Many of SLC's primary dance companies have wrapped up their seasons, but smaller independent groups are still creating new works for you to check out over the summer. One such company is Body Logic Dance, the Midvale-based dance company
and academy, which will be debuting new works in their show Reflect
at Sugar Space Warehouse, May 11-13. Today we chat with the company's assistant director Melanie Francom about her career, the company, the academy and the show as we head into Thursday's opening
night. (All pictures provided courtesy of BLDC.
Gavin: First thing, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Let's see, to start I am an artist, dancer, business owner. I am a wife, a mom of two boys and two dogs. I have lived in Utah most of my life and currently reside in Murray. I love music, reading, long drives, movies, laughing, being with my parents and spending anytime I can with my family.
How was it for you getting into dance while you were growing up?
Serena Webb and Meredith Nickle
It was great! My mom was always a lover of dance and art, so she signed me up for my first dance/tumbling class at age four. The next year I took tap, which led me to clogging
the following year.
What was your time like getting involved with clogging and performing around the U.S.?
I loved clogging, and spent most of my free time as a child dancing anywhere there was room to move my feet. I was a part of the Hatu
cloggers under the direction of Renee Crouch for 16 years. I participated in many clogging competitions and won various awards during that time. My favorite wins were with my duet partner Holly Hudson. We did our first duet when we were 7 years old. Initially, her sister helped us choreograph, but it didn't take us long before we did all of the choreography ourselves. This is where I got my first taste of making up my own dances. Clogging gave me so many fun experiences. From California to Florida, I graced many stages. Along the way, I was able to visit so much of America that I would never have had the opportunity to see otherwise.
What made you decide to attend UVU and what was their program like?
I didn't actually make that decision myself. After taking more than seven years off, doing very little dancing and after having two children, I was happy with my life, but felt something was missing. I had often talked with my husband about going back to school to get a degree in modern dance. We discovered that UVU had a dance program. We had a frequent conversation about wishing I would go to school there someday. One day, without telling me, he drove over to UVU and applied for me. After being accepted, he set an appointment with the dance counselor a few days before school and, at age 30, I went back to my first love, dance. I enjoyed the program at UVU and loved my time there. It was a fresh new program, only four years old when I started. There were many opportunities for me. I not only got to perform, but many choreographic, research and academic endeavors were available to me. The program was diverse; we worked with freelance artists and local professionals. My time there served me very well and the education made it possible for me to be doing what I do today.
When did you and Serena Webb end up meeting and becoming friends?
We actually met at UVU. She was a senior when I was a freshman. I auditioned for the Sr. Capstone concert and she selected me to be in her choreography. After she graduated, it would be another four years before we would cross paths. A year out of college I decided to audition for Body Logic Dance Co., which Serena was directing at the time. I was a dancer in the company for one season. At the end of that season, she asked me to come on as her assistant director.
How did Body Logic Dance Co. start? Where did it get its name from?
Preston Powell Photography
Body Logic started with a group of first- and second-year UVU graduates. When school ended, they wanted to keep dancing, so they started meeting and giving a class to each other. After a while, they decided to put together a concert and lo and behold, Body Logic Dance Co. was official. Body Logic didn't start with the name Body Logic. Their first name was Modern Nation, but it doesn't last long. That name as not well-received, so they went back to the drawing board and came up with Body Logic and it stuck. I love it, and it works so well for our company and academy.
What made you guys choose the space in Midvale to setup shop?
Starting a dance studio is hard, and starting a dance studio with so many other studios everywhere, we knew would be even harder. So, we looked into areas in the valley that might not be so saturated with studios. At that point, there were no dance studios to our knowledge in the Midvale area. We went looking for available spaces, and almost immediately found our current studio. We also wanted our company to be located somewhere other than downtown. There are well-established companies and other up-and-coming companies right in the city. We thought it would be nice to be a bit south and promote dance to a more under-served part of town.
What was it like putting the academy together and finding the instructors to make it work?
Serena Webb and Meredith Nickle
Serena and I are two women who have big dreams, and we don't know how to avoid doing the impossible. So we started this little business knowing we were going to be doing most of the teaching. She is a great technician and is in charge of our ballet program. She also teaches some jazz classes during the year. I am over our preschool program, which includes the creative movement class and the pre-ballet/jazz combo classes. I also teach our modern classes and some of the jazz classes. We do hire out for hip-hop, clogging and for our world dance classes. We like our instructors to have a degree in dance or at least eight years of professional experience. Finding extra instructors has been tricky, and we have learned a lot in four short years but we are building a faculty that we believe in and whom our students love. As for the professional company, putting that together is fun. We hold yearly auditions and the company varies in size. We take dancers who are interested not only in dance but in teaching and choreographing. which we perform in our Winter/Spring concerts.
For those who have never been, what kind of courses do you offer?
We offer academy classes for ages 3-17 in ballet, modern, hip-hop, clogging, jazz and world dance. During the summer, our lineup is usually something a little different than what we offer during the school year. We hold open classes for those who want to stay on top of their technique, and the second half of the summer we offer three "day themed" dance camps. We offer also hold adult classes. We just started our spring session of Above Barre and we are adding adult hip-hop, ballroom, and jazz starting in June. Details about these classes can be found on our website.
If someone wants to get involved or maybe bring their kids in for one of the classes, how do they get involved?
Preston Powell Photography
You can register for classes on our website
or call us 801.566.3010 or contact us by email at email@example.com
How often do you put together shows with the talent and choreographers?
We do two concerts per year, winter and spring, with our professional company. Our academy has an informal holiday performance in-studio, and we perform at the Festival of Trees and the Dickens Festival.
Tell us about the show Reflect that you'll be putting together for the Sugar Space.
has a different feel than most of our concerts. I'd say it is modern dance infused with folk dance-like themes. It started to come about as our choreographers reflected on the amelioration of their artistry. Eiby
Lobos' new work looks at how many of those who inhabit the planet have no desire to protect our planet. She looks primarily at the indigenous U.S. citizens in North Dakota and their ardor in defending their sacred land. Co-founder and co-director Serena Webb will take you on a Mediterranean journey while highlighting the technical ability of our dancers. We are also premiering a work by free-lance artist John Corsa who has a stunning dance resume and who was danced with MoMix, Diavolo and Parsons Dance Co. He has an authentic watery movement vocabulary that our dancers have embraced and move
through quite eloquently.
How has it been working with this group and the Sugar Space to put the show together?
It is always a pleasure working with Brittany and Sugar Space. We are so lucky to have such a great art space in our city. It is difficult to find venues for dance concerts, so we love what they provide.
What else do you and Body Logic Dance Co. have coming up over the rest of the year?
Preston Powell Photography
For our academy, we have our end of year recital next week and our summer schedule starts in June. For the company, we get a small break before start the audition process for next year's season. We will be hosting our second annual Body Logic Dance Festival Aug 11-12, 2017. We have a great variety of choreographers and dancers participating this year and we are excited to provide the city with a full day of dance. This festival offers a chance for the audience to hear feedback and increase awareness to the dialogue that dance creates. Details about our festival can also be found on our website.