Jessica first discovered her love of the performing arts through musical theater with Mountain Dream Productions in Victoria, BC. Realizing the dancing was her favourite part she began taking ballet and jazz classes with Wendy Steen Mitchell Dance at the age of 10. Jessica quickly excelled and became a member of the WSMD Tiptoes Performing Company where she participated in numerous local dance festivals and explored other styles of dance.
As dancing became a passion for Jessica, it was also a form of cross training for her other passion, competitive sailing. At 18, Jessica choose to give up sailing to focus on her biochemistry degree from the University of Victoria and dancing remained a large part of her life.
Jessica is now a teacher at WSMD and takes classes in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and EFunk at Raino Dance. Jessica first started working with Broken Rhythms Victoria Society in early 2016 and has since participated in projects such as Theater Under the Gun, Burn This with workingclasstheatre, LashBash, and Striga Form. She is excited for what opportunities lie ahead as she continues to grow as a dancer under Broken Rhythms’ direction. When Jessica isn’t dancing, she works as a research assistant at the University of Victoria with her eyes on a future career in the field of medicine.
In her words…
This is a hard one as it changes regularly as the pieces continue to develop. Although it is still very much in early development, my favorite piece today would have to be the Sci-fi piece. This piece marks the transition from the classic black and white monster films to the colour Sci-fi films still popular today. Between the dynamic music and the choreography, this piece has a lot of power which I am enjoying exploring.
Why should people come to see Universal Horrors?
Broken Rhythm’s Universal Horrors offers a different take on the universal horror films where we are not telling the stories of the films, but instead capture certain elements/essences of the films that are clear in the choreography and the feel of the pieces. This interpretation of the films offers fresh perspectives, which the audience will find very intriguing while enjoying the exciting and intricate dancing that Broken Rhythms has become known for.
I have been dancing for 13 years, I began dancing when I was 10 and since then I have not been able to stop.
What was your first project with Broken Rhythms?
My first project with Broken Rhythms was Intrepid’s Theater Under the Gun in March 2016. We had 48hrs to create a new 10-minute work based on an inspiration package we received. I did not really know what I was getting myself into but I figured 48hrs was not too crazy of a commitment. Slowly falling into sleep-deprived madness with the other Broken Rhythm’s ladies was an amazing experience and I knew I wanted to work more with the company after that.
What are 3 things that are always in your dance bag?
My dance bag is full of all sorts of things just in case I need them but the three things I rely the most on would have to be:
1. A Luna or Clif bar for when I need a quick pick me up between classes or during rehearsal
2. A Lacrosse ball to work out the kinks that develop during those long rehearsals
3. A sweat towel because I do not just glisten I sweat!
Other than rhythmical contemporary, what styles of dance do you like to do?
My three favourite styles outside rhythmical contemporary are:
-Jazz, it will always be my favourite style as I love the high-energy classes full of jumps and turns
-Ballet as I love the discipline in the style. I also find it crucial to keeping up my strength and technique.
-Modern/Contemporary to let go of some of the structure and technique to find new ways to move.
What’s your favourite thing about performing?
The feeling you get when you are on stage and nothing else matters; all the rehearsals and preparation is done and it is now time to just go out on stage and do what you love. In that moment I tend to become so aware of my body and everything I am doing, yet when I am done I cannot remember anything that happened on stage.