Student Spotlight: Charli Sea
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Charli Sea has been dancing since before she was 2, and she just keeps loving it more and more.
The 9-year-old has since gotten her feet wet in theater as well, and she’ll be performing in Defiance Community Players’ upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Charli told the Post Independent how she got started in the performing arts, what styles of dance are her favorites and why she loves being on stage.
Post Independent: What types of dance do you practice?
Charli Sea: I practice a lot of ballet. I feel it is the strongest foundation for all of the other art forms of dance and theater. Since I have begun dancing I have been lucky enough to study classes in ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theater, breaking, tap, modern and Folklorico. I love Folklorico! I have also been able to study with very talented coaches here in the valley, such as Brad Vierheller for piano and voice.
PI: When did you start dancing, and why?
CS: I started dancing at 17 months old at my preschool. My mom, Kari Sea, would come into our school and teach everyone ballet classes once a week until I was 4. Dance runs in our family through my great-great-grandmother. My mom would take me to ballet classes in my baby carrier as an infant in Florida before she retired, so I guess it was something I grew up around. I always loved the music, she says; it calmed. Now as I am getting older I continue to feel so connected to the music; it moves me and controls me. My creativity is expressed throughout the music, and it flows out my body, heart and soul. Dance is something my heart wants to do.
PI: Did you love dancing right away, or did it take some time to grow on you?
CS: I definitely liked dancing right away. The thing I do not like is having to slow down and learn all the steps from the beginning. I feel like when I watch my teachers, videos or movies I should be able to take all the complicated steps, combinations and instantly my body should follow because my mind has been involved with dance for so long, it all seems familiar. I forget I do not actually know all of them yet or how they fit together. Plus there are so many other parts that have to happen. I have a lot to learn as a student, but as an artist I never want to stop so I can see more and more.
PI: You’re involved in theater, too. Tell me a little about that.
CS: My first musical was actually when I was 3 with Defiance in a production of “On the Town.” I honestly do not remember much about it, though. I was in it with my grandpa, Van Sea, and my mom did the choreography. I remember it was fun. I did a lot of productions when I was younger from Vail through Glenwood and Aspen. I think I would say my first real role as a speaking character actor would have been this past summer in “Bugsy Malone, Jr.” with Jennetta Howell Theatricals. I played Louella and was “allowed” to be sassy on stage, sang, danced. I was hooked.
PI: What has been your favorite production, and why?
CS: I am currently in “Fiddler on the Roof” directed by Wendy Moore with Defiance, and this my favorite production so far. I enjoy the time in our rehearsals because this allows me to work with friends from all over the valley and of all ages. I learn so much from being in the live theater rehearsals that will last me forever. Plus, there is a live orchestra! My favorite part was learning all the lines, music and blocking, of everyone. The joke is I could go on stage as an understudy — they can just stick a beard on me and throw me out there.
PI: Tell me about the current dance classes you’re taking.
CS: I am currently taking ballet classes in Aspen at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with Melanie Doskocil, contemporary in Glenwood Springs with my mom at Colorado Mountain College and Folklorico with Paco in Carbondale four hours a week. I just became part of the Intermediate Performing Group with Folklorico. We are beginning our rehearsals for “The Nutcracker,” which is in December. This will be my fourth year in “The Nutcracker,” and I will be a Candy Cane in Act 2. I did a summer intensive in Denver with Sweatshop, placed in the top 20 at New York City Dance Alliance, third place overall mini solo at JUMP, both in Denver.
PI: What’s your favorite part about performing?
CS: My favorite thing about performing is allowing everyone in the audience to come into the world we artists have been rehearsing in order to create a place for them to escape. Like a real life storybook. One that pops-up. Only with real people. It is a safe place for everyone to let go of the outside world and come into the fantasy we are creating — happy, sad, dance, play, musical — and feel their emotions flow. Hopefully, like my emotions are flowing through my creative outlet. I just love to perform.
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This summer, the local arts nonprofit Voices will be debuting The ARTery, a tiny mobile space for theater and the arts, a news release stated.