Get to know the Dancer // David Cross

Get to know the dancers of DCCD, their inspirations, and where their training began. We would like to introduce David Cross!

1.    How long have you been dancing? 10 years. I started when I was 14 and began high school.

2.    Why did you start dancing? My first experience dancing was actually by doing musicals. I enjoyed being on stage and having a great time with all of my friends. One of my friends suggested I should come join them in taking break dancing lessons and I ended up falling in love with it! Over the rest of high school I slowly switched from musicals and acting to just dancing.

3.    Who or what is your biggest dancing inspiration? There definitely isn’t one person or thing that has always inspired me to dance. At different points in my life and in my training, different individuals offered different forms of inspiration. From my first breaking teachers like Jerome Larkins and Isaac Limas to big name bboys like Cloud, Ronnie, Casper, and Kid David. My Dad was also a huge inspiration for my dancing and pursuing it as a career. He always told me to find what you love to do, and then do it. After he passed, this hit me harder than anything else. I realized how short this life is and how you need to make it count. That drove me to attend college for dance even though I had never done ballet or modern before. I knew I needed to know more than just breaking to make it as a professional dancer.

4.    What is your proudest dance achievement so far? This opportunity with Dark Circles is definitely making one of the top achievements! Some other amazing times I’ve had are traveling throughout Australia dancing with GX International, as well as attending battles all over the Midwest with my crew Boogie Munstars Family. Performing at the grand opening of the Kauffman Center in Kansas City was amazing. Dancing at the Kennedy Center in D.C. was also incredible. Basically any time I get to travel and dance with those I love is an achievement in my book!

5.    Tell us about your hobbies outside of dance. I’m a car enthusiast to the core. I love cars and working on mine. I love going to car meets and shows and seeing the amazing things people are doing. I love seeing different kinds of art and going to different museums. I enjoy seeing other people create and express themselves. I’ve also recently discovered that snowboarding is a ton of fun as well as skydiving!

6.    Choose one word to describe your dancing. Authentic. I feel as though dancing should be vulnerable and honest. For the longest time I thought I had to put on a certain character for each dance I was doing. It took me years to realize that you simply need to be yourself, and I’m still discovering this.

7.    What is your favorite dance quote? 2 Samuel 6:14   “And David danced before the Lord with all his might…”

Backstory: Dancer Emily Bernet writes about the creation of Mike Esperanza's 'NUCLEUS'

As we approach the start of our second season in the US, the last couple of months have been both busy and exciting for Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. We are currently in the middle of a two-week residency with Mike Esperanza, New York based choreographer and artistic director of BARE dance company, and it has been a whirlwind of creation and exploration. 
Mike began the process with clear ideas and images that continue to develop as the piece progresses. Along with Mike’s unique movement, the piece will incorporate lighting and projections that reflect images of sunlight, the heart, and the cosmos. He moves quickly, following a constant stream of inspiration. As he creates he keeps us involved, following his every weight shift and direction change. The piece incorporates a range of dynamics, and Mike is helping us discover how to make the energy of the work build and fall like a wave, bringing the images together into one idea.
Mike encourages us to personalize the movement and keep it alive so that no two runs are exactly alike. Though we focus on clarity in both the movement and the message, he doesn’t want the work to become routine or robotic. I appreciate the trust Mike has for us as dancers, and I feel fresh and fully engaged in the work with every rehearsal.  
The images Mike has created are complex in organization and phrasing, creating dynamic relationships between each of us and exploring the motion of action and reaction. Like Chadi El-Koury’s work Words in Motion, which will be also be presented in our Fall Concert, Mike Esperanza’s choreography requires us to listen to each other as we dance. The piece relies on our connections, both physical and mental. While working with Mike, I feel that our trust in each other is growing. The height of the piece includes complex series of lifts and moments in which we are launched across the stage into another dancer’s arms. I see that we are slowly starting to take more risks, and Mike encourages us to keep taking these risks further every day. 
Mike’s residency has provided us with an opportunity to continue our artistic growth, and as always, has been a lot of fun. Mike’s creativity has challenged me to move in new ways and brought us closer as a company. I am extremely excited to premiere this new work in our Fall Series in September.

Fall Series will take place September 4-6 at the Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $12-20.