Today we’d like to introduce you to Marc Spaulding.
Marc, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
During my early childhood, I was extremely active and heavily involved in various sports. I struggled to apply my self academically so upon entering high school, my mother insisted that I audition for the dance department at the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. To my surprise, I was fortunate enough to be accepted. Once I began my formal dance training, the realization that Ballet and Modern dance had many parallels with athletics gave me extreme confidence. As my high school career concluded I was still unsure of my direction in life. In choosing to attend Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) as the college of my choice, I assumed my dance career was over…
However, I was wrong! During my short stay at FAMU, I performed a solo dance work as part of a black history show. While being on stage I had an epiphany, “dance is your calling”. Once the semester ended, I immediately changed course and transferred to The University of The Arts in Philadelphia PA where I earned my BFA degree in Ballet performance. Once I graduated from UARTS, I moved to New York and immediately began working as a company member of Donald Byrd/The Group. Shortly thereafter, I joined Philadanco (The Philadelphia Dance Company). In 2007 I landed a dance role in the feature film Hairspray. That experience inspired me to shifted my career in the direction of musical theatre and later commercial dance. Taking part in several television and stage productions such as; Dreamgirls 1st National Tour, West Side Story International Tour, HBO’s Euphoria, Dancing With The Stars, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and the Broadway revival of Equus has given me a very diverse professional experience. In January of 2011, I moved to Los Angeles where I have continued my professional work as a dance instructor, choreographer, and performer.
Has it been a smooth road?
The first four years of my professional dance career moved seamlessly. I went from one dance company to the next. Once I started to transition out of concert dance I hit some turbulence. For two years, I danced in various small projects while working random side jobs like delivering flowers and selling dance clothing at Sansha NY. I could only afford to eat off of the dollar menu and I lived with several roommates to make ends meet. That two year time period was challenging but I would not change a thing!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
This fall I will begin my MFA studies at The University of California, Irvine- Claire Trevor School of the Arts. In addition to working on my MFA degree, I am consistently working on building and presenting my own choreography, while also teaching dance classes & workshops through out the U.S. and abroad.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, Los Angeles is the center of the Arts and Entertainment world on the west coast and one of the best places in the world for this type of profession. I also think that young dancers should work on their craft and have a plan before moving to LA. I don’t think it’s a matter of what Los Angeles can do better, I just believe LA works best for professionals and people that already have a strong training foundation.
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