Today we’d like to introduce you to Madison Hicks.
Madison, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I started dancing in Dallas, TX at a very young age but everything began to change when I started High school at Booker T. Washington HSPVA and also went on to The Juilliard School in NYC. My love for creating and working with kids began to take off. I remember as a kid, I used to change all the choreography my teachers would give me and re-create it how I wanted (a teachers nightmare!!) but it was because I was itching to make my own work. At Juilliard, we got to make up to 5 pieces a year and I took advantage of every single opportunity to do so. I fell in love with the creative process even more. I began to see how different the dance world was after completing high school. So, in my junior year of college, I got inspired to create a workshop of my own called Moving Forward Dallas. With the mission to bring a college/professional like setting to the youth in Dallas and provide composition and improvisation workshops that they may not get throughout the year. Moving Forward is now a Non-Profit Organization that has grown tremendously and has had about 6 workshops since the start. Through this, I fell more in love with producing, creating, and teaching. After Juilliard, I moved to Los Angeles to dance for LA Dance Project under Benjamin Millepied. This was a true dream job and I was bursting at the seams with excitement to travel the world performing. After just a few months in the company, it became harder and harder for me to devote all my time to performing and little to none on creating and teaching which forced me to make a very difficult decision. I decided to follow my creative dream and go to Graduate School for choreography at CalArts! I started in September. I still continue to perform in project-based work and plan to continue to do so for many years. I am grateful to teach and work with wonderful kids of different ages in California along with running Moving Forward and going to Grad School. The rigor of my schedule could not be more fulfilling. It was a hard journey to get here, realizing performing full time may not be my dream but I could not be happier with my decision and am continuously pushed creatively every day.
Can you give our readers some background on your organization?
I focus on creating provocative, community-based work encouraging artistic possibility and freedom of expression through collaborative, task-based discoveries. My main goal is to work with young artists and to create a safe, open and inspiring environment to encourage exploration.
I am inspired by many specific concepts such as time, speech, hands, love, freedom, and so much more. I want to create work that brings us together because so many things only tear us apart. Art should be something that unites us and gets us talking. It should be utilized to make a difference and if one single person walks away from seeing my work and takes their thoughts/emotions to someone else then I made a difference.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
1. Don’t be afraid to be different. Your journey is your journey and it does not need to be like anyone else’s.
2. You can learn from everyone. I truly believe I learn the most from my students who are years younger than me.
3. And most importantly… a teacher recently said to me “Sometimes failing is just what you need to do.”
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Coming up next, my creation “In a Time Lapse” will be performed in the Palm Desert Choreography Festival on November 9th. I am also currently creating a solo work in collaboration with a writer that will be premiered on January 25th at Navel in Los Angeles. I have also created many works on Project 21 in Orange County that will be performed throughout the year along with San Diego Civic Center and we have many performances throughout the year at California Institute of the Arts! Follow me on Instagram at @madihicks for all updates.
You can also see links to my previous work at www.madisonhicks.com.
- Website: www.madisonhicks.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @madihicks
Lorrin Brubaker, Rafael Hernandez, Alexander Sargent