heather bach, instructor

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She teaches: Musical Theater

Get to know Heather better:

When did you start dancing and why did you keep dancing?  I was a rambunctious young child, so my mother put me in every activity she could think of to get rid of some of my extra energy - one of those activities was dance. I trained in a studio until high school where I decided that I wanted to focus on sports and musical theatre (which are activities my mother also put me in due to my abundant energy). I found that my favorite part about musical theatre was the dancing! I love expressing myself through movement and found that I missed dancing! I decided to focus on dance in college and have never looked back.

Why did you want to become a dance instructor?  I love choreography - especially Musical Theatre. Creating something out of nothing is so magical and I love that I can help dancers create beautiful art onstage by giving them movement to dance. It’s so great to watch the dancers make every movement their own and give them the opportunity to grow and perform. As soon as I graduated, I realized that my passion of sharing dance with others could not be contained to just original choreography. I teach dance so that I can give young dancers the foundation and skills to embody movement, make each combination their own, and help them grow not only as dancers or artists, but as humans. It is so rewarding to help dancers achieve something they thought was impossible only a few months prior.

Do you still take dance lessons, choreograph, or perform even though you are an instructor?  I do! I take lessons whenever and wherever I get the chance! I love growing as an artist, learning new styles, improving the styles I perform, and keeping up my technique. Choreography is my passion, and even though I get to teach dancers Musical Theatre choreography, I create my own projects for myself and others. I also am constantly auditioning for shows! I cannot get enough of the stage and the best way for me to better myself for my students is by doing my craft.

What is your favorite style of musical theater and why? Musical Theatre is a type of Broadway Jazz, but there are prolific Musical Theatre choreographers that created their own styles. Bob Fosse, a Broadway dancer, director, and choreographer, created his own style of “Fosse” movement. He created simple, unique lines and movement never seen before on the stage, and it is now referred to as Fosse or Fosse Style. It’s my favorite because it is so different from what you think of as Broadway Jazz. He focuses on shape. Much of my own choreography is inspired by Fosse.

What is the hardest part about musical theater for you and why?  I would say remaining in character and telling a story while you dance. We always perform and emote when we dance, but with musical theatre you have a specific story to tell. In musicals, you sing when you have too much emotion for mere words, and you dance when you have too much emotion to be contained in a still body. That being said, you are still telling a story, and that story might even change throughout the corse of the dance. In musical theatre it is not enough to be a great dancer. You have to be present, expressive, and continue to tell the story - and people think that just dancing is hard enough!

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the studio or besides teaching dance?  Besides performing, I love the outdoors. Hiking and being near any body of water I can find on a sunny day make me happy. I’m originally from Montana, so I’m in my element when I’m out of doors.

What is your favorite dance quote and why?  "A good dancer is not necessarily defined by great technique, skill, or ability to pick up choreography but by confidence. When you feel the music, it penetrates to your soul. Everybody's a dancer. The greatest dancer is someone who is willing to dance, not afraid." - Alyssa Edwards

This is my favorite quote because not only dance, but anything one does in life, isn’t made great by natural talent or even how hard one works. It is about the love and passion of that one thing. I think that everyone can dance even if you literally have two left feet. If there is a willingness and a passion, those qualities will shine through and surpass everything else.