Photography by Rick van Woudenberg
Welcome back to our Meet the Dancer series! Have you ever wondered how different talents and personalities come together to create our shows? Our dancers have origins all over the world and contribute eight different styles to help us tell our story. Today, we introduce our leaders, Lydia and Larissa!
Lydia is one of our fearless leaders and we would truly be lost without her foresight, planning, and passion for the success of the team. In addition to being a whiz with details and a savvy businesswoman, Lydia contributes many creative talents to our project. Between her gorgeous graphic designs and her unique choreography, it can safely be said that we would be a completely different group without her. And let’s not forget her dance talents, too!
Project Blank would not exist without Larissa, she is one of the founders! Her vision and commitment to this team and its future propels Project Blank into bigger and bolder adventures every year. Larissa has a great eye for creating and telling a story of human connection through dance. On top of that, she is a very skilled dancer with a beautiful stage presence and plenty of stunts and tricks up her sleeve. We are grateful that she continues to lead Project Blank year after year with clear direction and humor.
We asked them both some questions and here is what they had to say:
Name: Lydia de Boer
Primary style(s): Modern, jazz, a little bit of popping & locking and my own fusion
Day job: graphic designer and adviser in arts & culture education for primary schools
Earliest dance memory: I’ve always been that kid who likes to move. I’ve been making dance rhythms with my legs before I could walk. I used to tip over my baby rocking chair because I liked to move BIG. My parents were afraid I would hurt myself so they installed a coil spring with a baby seat attached to it. That way I could move and jump as much as I wanted. I remember loving that solution and feeling very free to move as much as I wanted.
Fun fact: I’m the designer of the logo, branding and website of Project Blank.
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: Together with the team I’m creating a visually interesting abstract piece. Bringing my graphic design eye to the dancefloor adds new layers in my creation process. I love the translation from abstract concept to movement. The dancers do a fantastic job of bringing their own skills, styles and ideas to this year’s piece.
Name: Larissa Shnayder
Primary style(s): Modern, salsa, cheerleading, and gymnastics
Day job: Academic research in strategic management
Earliest dance memory: My first moment on stage was at the age of 7, dancing to the song “I Feel Pretty,” with my ballet class. This may have been the only time in my life, when I wore something pink and frilly. None of us really remembered the choreography, so video evidence shows all of staring into the wings, where our teacher was doing the movement with us.
Fun fact: I’m a US citizen, but my trilingual daughter doesn’t speak English (yet)
A note about “The Shape I’m In”: I’m so proud of all of the new cast members for stepping up and taking on choreography and leadership roles. We feel grateful for our cast every year and this year is most certainly no exception. If you want to watch young artists break out of their shells, this is definitely the show for you!
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