Gigi Torres is empowering dancers to build their own Empire!
Hollywood Connection faculty Gigi Torres, who has been one of sytycd choreographers, has created a unique program exclusively for Hollywood Connection Nationals. It’s the Establish Your Empire Be Bold Program. Find out more about this unique opportunity, only at the Hollywood Connection National Finals.
What is the Establish Your Empire Be Bold Program?
Establish Your Empire is a program that I started three years ago, because I believe it’s important not only to teach dancers the physical aspect of their training, but to raise dancers with the mental capacity to survive in the dance industry. It was created with a focus on the physicality as well as the mental mind-set of the dancer.
Why did you create the Establish Your Empire program and what was your motivation for doing so?
The idea started when I was in Spain. I had visited 30 countries teaching master classes and I was getting burned out. Something was missing. I wanted to connect with the students on a deeper level but I was in and out of studios so quickly. So I asked myself, what can I do to get more of a personal connection for myself, and more of a connection with the students. I wanted them to know they were cared for and that I had been in their shoes. I wanted it to be more than a class. I wanted it to be an experience and leave a lasting community of dancers, and so Establish Your Empire was born.
What sets the Establish Your Empire program apart from other master classes?
We ask questions during the program for instance, “Describe yourself in three words” and dancers get stumped. They don’t know who they are yet. The program raises the questions of who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. The program provides dancers the tools to create their own career and that everything is possible.
It’s sounds like you are teaching dancers how to create their own brand how to market themselves?
YES! The brand is what sets you apart from everyone else. When you walk into a room full of dancers, what makes you different? How will you book the job? If you know what sets you apart, it makes it so much easier. Part of the program is identifying who you are is a dancer, branding yourself as that dancer and marketing yourself as that dancer.
Dance training is a part of the program as well. Tell us about that.
I want dancers to find their authentic movement whether that be jazz, contemporary, ballet or hip hop. Everyone has a unique style of movement and it’s finding it and owning it. Many people don’t know this about me but I was raised in a studio and I started with ballet and jazz. When I was 14, I discovered hip hop and my unique voice in movement. But my ballet and jazz training helped me find that unique voice. This is not a hip hop program. It’s a dance program of all genres and finding your own unique style. Dancers will discover this through guided improv and performing techniques, as well as defining dynamics.
What is the video shoot about?
We create a solo video around each individual dancer. They pick a word that resonates with who they are at this moment whether it be funny, loving, powerful and we work the video around their personality and unique movement style. The final version represents their authenticity that they have discovered in the program.
What do you think dancers gain most from the Establish Your Empire program?
I believe dancers come out of the program bold and open to discovering who they are, accepting who they are at this moment, understanding that this is a journey and there will always be opportunity to and learn and grow, and to keep moving forward towards the person they are meant to be!
For more information about the program and how to apply, click here. Applicants must register directly on the Establish Your Empire website.