Saturday, March 24, 2012

Artistic Director Ryan "Future" Webb on "FINDING BALANCE"

Finding Balance

Artistic Director Ryan Webb

Growing up, my family and I were constantly traveling. Both of my parents were flight attendants and naturally I just went everywhere they did. On top of these travels, we also moved a lot. Starting in Houston, Texas, we moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina, and ended up settling in Ashburn, Virginia. As soon as my college years started, I began moving and traveling again. My freshmen year was spent at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. The rest of my college days were spent in Oceanside and Fullerton, California. All of these travels and moves are apart of my long journey to find a place that I could call home. Not just somewhere to sleep, but a place that felt right for me! It may have taken a while but I found this home in Urban Artistry.

As some of you may know, Rashaad and myself have been traveling for dance quite often in the past few years. From Korea, Japan, London, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark, we have gotten to experience multiple cultures overseas. The more dance experiences we are gaining, the more reassured I become that Urban Artistry is the most healthy learning environment for any dancer. The fact that House decided everyone must battle, compete, perform, teach, mentor, and direct has always been an ingenious idea for me. All of these aspects of dance are so important in giving you balance! Most of us in Urban Artistry don’t even realize how lucky we are to be learning ALL of these things.

For example, Rashaad and I traveled to London last year for our first major theatre show, “Human Robot”. It was performed at the Sadler’s Wells, which is one of the most well known theaters in the world. Although the stakes were high, for us it was just another day at work because we had been prepared for it through Urban Artistry.

When you begin paying close attention to each countries dance scene including our own here in the United States, you will see just how much each scene can learn from each other. Some countries lack cypher culture, others lack performance ability, the problem comes when people get stuck specializing in certain areas. The reason having balance is so important is because when you are traveling, knowing what the dancers are missing allows you to give them what they need. I could go on and on about each dance scene individually but the main purpose for this blog is to inspire you all to do everything!

Don’t just be a performer or a battler. Be a mentor and a cypher head as well. Never sell yourself short and remember that the things we learn in dance are also teaching us about everyday life. The better dance teacher you become, the better your communication skills will be. The more you perform, the more you learn about presenting yourself in front of others. Everything in life is a battle! Competition is everywhere so if you learn about battle techniques in dance, use them at your day job or while in debate with someone. It’s fun! Use what you know from dance in your every day lives, because the truth is if you are a balanced dancer, you have the ability to be a balanced person as well.

In closing, I just want to say; let’s all try to keep each other motivated to do everything as a dancer. Not only will it help you find balance, but it will prepare you for future dance travels as well. Traveling is amazing and a great learning experience, but let’s not forget how good we have it here at home guys….

Urban Artistry is a great group of people, and I appreciate you all for helping me find the place that felt right for me.

1 comment:

The Human- Activistarian said...

Fantastic blog Ryan! It is great to see that you are not only sharing your passion for dance but that you are open to learning from others. It's important that people find their own cypher in life, even if its not a cypher of dance. One that they can feel at home with and continue to share their own passions. Glad you found a home where your heart is...