September 23, 2019
Now in her 17th season dancing with Dance Kaleidoscope, Jillian Godwin is the senior dancer. This is a respected and important position because she helps pass the company's traditions and work ethics on to the younger dancers.
This is a special time in my career. As I watch the newest dancers in the company, I realize that one day it will be time for them to take on my role. So, I want to show them every day what a dedicated, driven artist looks like.
I’ve seen quite a lot of change in myself since I started back in the early 2000’s. I was still just trying to find out who I was then and how I wanted to dance and express. I’ve come to realize that I am now dancing with my spirit to the fullest.
The only thing that has changed for me is the faces I see every day at work. I’ve seen a lot of dancers come and go for one reason or another, but I’ve seen lots of growth in the caliber of dancers.
We have heathy bonds with each other inside and outside the studio. And everyone has had open arms to the new dancers. We want to work together to create a cohesive unit.
I was definitely mentored a lot by Liberty Harris and Kenoth Shane Patton as well as André Megerdichian. They pushed me to be the best I could be.
Artistically, we have grown as an organization with David Hochoy’s leadership, with guest choreographers coming in and with the dancers creating new works.
Today, my role is to be present, to still be moldable, and to help where I'm needed. I don’t give out little corrections or thoughts as often because I believe we get better by doing.
I want to pass on the importance of the spirit of a dancer. You may have the most beautiful body, extensions, lines and jumps. But all that is nothing if you don’t infuse your dancing with your life experiences and imagination – even revealing the broken pieces of your heart you’ve put back together and the light that lives inside you. That is being an artist.
Here are thoughts from three of DK's newest dancers on what it's like to join the company.
Being a newbie, we are always hearing about effort and the things we demand of ourselves. Watching Jillian Godwin, it is apparent that she demands only greatness of herself. She inspires me daily.
As someone new in the company and someone fairly new to the Graham technique, I look to my colleagues for aesthetic and inspiration. They’re always there to answer my questions and coach me. I’ve felt myself become a part of the group seamlessly.
Coming into Dance Kaleidoscope, I was both nervous and excited. The amount of kindness and generosity the other dancers have shown me is immeasurable. Jillian Godwin was one of the first dancers I talked to, and she immediately helped me feel at home by sharing her expertise, experience and passion.
DK is grateful to the following 2019-20 season sponsors:
Sponsoring Jillian Godwin - Miriam & David Resnick
Sponsoring Kieran King and Aaron Steinberg - St. Vincent Sports Performance
Sponsoring Sarah Taylor - Cheryl & Jim Strain
Photos of Jillian Godwin, Kieran King, Aaron Steinberg, and Sarah Taylor by the talented Chris Crawl.