Bevin Victoria

2019 Ambassador Bevin Victoria

Emily Running: (00:00)

Hello, this is Emily Running. I’m the founder and director of Dance Wire in Portland, Oregon. I’m here with Bevin Victoria. It is, what is the date? September 5th, 2019. We are here talking about Bevin’s life and career in dance as part of the Dance Wire Artist Stories series. To get started, can you give me an overview of your current titles?

Bevin Victoria: (00:40)

My name is Bevin Victoria, I’m the director and head choreographer for Hybrid Dance Company, which is a collective, at times, of dancers from all around the city that employ multiple styles to create dynamic theatrical fusion pieces. I’m a dancer of the Allegro Dance Company and a choreographer, and have assistant produced a couple of events with them under Elise Morris as the director. I danced with Bana, I’m a dancer-choreographer for them as well. A musician, I’m an event producer, choreographer, director, and a freelance dancer doing my own thing in the world.

Emily Running: (01:22)

I like it. A lot of titles.

Bevin Victoria: (01:27)

That’s just in dance.

Emily Running: (01:27)

And that’s just in dance, you’re also a musician.

Bevin Victoria: (01:32)

Yes, I’m a vocalist. I write songs. And I’m an actor. I’m about to add directing to that list.

Emily Running: (01:42)

As in theater? Oh, film. Film directing. Wow. I like it. Well, that’s the way of the business. So, just a little overview of when did you start dancing? How has your dance evolved so far?

Bevin Victoria: (02:02)

Both my parents were dancers, so I grew up in a household of artists. Everybody, everybody in my family are dancers, musicians or competitive athletes.

Emily Running: (02:12)

What style of dance did your parents do?

Bevin Victoria: (02:13)

My mom was a very big deal. Burlesque dancer. She traveled all over the world. I remember her doing residencies like in Japan and Guam and Canada. She was always all over the place, even after I was born. My dad was the premier. This is so funny. He’ll be mad that I’m saying this, the premier roller skating stripper of New York City in the late seventies and eighties.

Emily Running: (02:39)

That’s amazing! There you go.

Bevin Victoria: (02:40)

But he’s a musician too. So the music and dance they’ve always gone hand in hand, but I started dancing. So I grew up watching them dance. And watching my mom twirl around in amazing sparkling gowns and stuff. So that was my world. But I started dancing when I was…

Emily Running: (02:56)

That’s not your average childhood world.

Bevin Victoria: (03:01)

It was pretty glamorous, I guess it seemed like that anyway, from my little rocking chair thing. She said she put me to sleep that way, just spinned around in front of me in this one red dress that was a hand beaded, rhinestone crazy gown.

Emily Running: (03:14)

That is amazing. I really love that image. And I kind of want to see a movie of your life right now.

Bevin Victoria: (03:22)

Can we recreate this scene for my daughter?

Emily Running: (03:23)

Can you film this?

Bevin Victoria: (03:25)

I started dancing when I was three. We started with ballet, tap and jazz. Tap did not last that long for me, but ballet led me to gymnastics. I was a competitive gymnast for many years. I was doing ballet for gymnastics, which is a different thing. It’s very different. It’s for gymnastics. We cheat a lot.

Emily Running: (03:49)

Oh, sure, sure. Yeah. Got it. 

Bevin Victoria: (03:52)

It’s a weird kind of thing, I gotta point your

Emily Running: (03:55)

Learn to point your toes and do stuff, but not

Bevin Victoria: (03:57)

I mean, you’re doing jazz. Like everything’s, you’re not turned out ever like you’re so, because it’s weird to do that on beam, but anyway, I could go on, but ballet’s been a part of my life since I was really, really young. Both classical ballet and we hybridized gymnastics ballet, but that’s been a through line. I got injured in gymnastics at 13, and had to retire at it. I was in a very high level on an Olympic track program. And kind of lost my mind, had no idea who I was, went through puberty, grew boobs. I was weird and lumpy and tall and then I came back to dance. I was like, I don’t know what else to do, but I can still dance, I guess.

Emily Running: (04:37)

So I have a question. Did you have other things going on in your life, up until then, or was gymnastic, dance, everything. Do you regret that?

Bevin Victoria: (04:59)

No. I mean, I remember trying to balance life as a young kid, like I did roller blading, trying to find balance, but I was intense. I have never met anyone like me, especially at that age. I’m not saying that to build myself up, but I’m saying that I was crazy. All I wanted, I had the Olympic rings in my eyes. All I wanted to do was be an Olympic gymnast and be the best. And this was always my ethic because I started with dance, my goal was to really bring out the artistry in gymnastics and make it the big, amazing, powerful sport that it was, but bring this really strong dance element, which you don’t always see. That was a huge thing for me. I just wanted to have the most elegant and amazing put-together floor routines and just totally flip the script. So I would wake up at 5:00 a.m. on my own.

No one was telling me to do this. I would condition for an hour and a half, miss the bus every single day, run to school, go to practice afterwards for four and a half hours, stay up until 11 doing my homework, and then, like, I was crazy. I just ate, slept and breathed life, it was gymnastics. It was my life, so I don’t regret the lessons that it taught me. Like self-discipline and self respect. 

I had a lot of hard times towards the end. Once I started to get really tall and struggled with eating disorders pretty severely for about a year. That became increasingly severe over time. It was not great, but I don’t feel like I missed out on a lot of things because I felt very present even as a nine and ten year old in my choice to do it and being like, no, I guess I’m not going to go to the movies because I want to be the best. It was like, this equals this, this is how it has to happen. So why would I be sad because it’s going to get me to this thing. Which is weird, because I coached gymnastics for years and that’s a rare thing to find. Most kids, and I think it’s healthy to not have that too. But I was just that kind of way.

Emily Running: (07:03)

I interrupted your background. So thirteen, grew boobs, got taller, injured…

Bevin Victoria: (07:09)

Got injured, life was over as I knew it, I didn’t really know what to do. I went back to dance and I started, in that time I would take workshops and classes in West African was the study that I came back to often that I really enjoyed. But when I was a teenager, I started getting into hip hop and got back into jazz, really seriously. Then I started fusing that with acro dance as I was healing from that big injury. Then I found martial arts, and started taking belly dance to help with martial arts. It’s a weird, I just found these things and then I latch onto them and then become my life. And I was like, I need better footwork. I’m going to do the one dance that doesn’t really focus on footwork.

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I think it was about freeing my spine up. So I found American tribal style of belly dance when I was in my late teens. That became a huge obsession and those things, martial arts and belly dance carried me on to today.

Emily Running: (08:12)

That’s something that I just dream that all dancers would do, is cross-train a little bit. Even in other dance styles, just for that one thing, you know what my spine is a little bit, it just feels like kind of stiff. Maybe I need to cross train in belly dance to learn that, because when I was doing my Find a Class tour and taking all different classes. Which is on pause, but coming back, I went to belly dance and I was just like, whoa, this is all different muscles. Like all different techniques, all different approaches to using my body because I was coming from an aerial background. So similar, it was like, okay. It is the opposite of the sometimes brute strength of aerial. I love that, that cross training just happened for you and that you were like, this is what I need next.

Bevin Victoria: (09:09)

It was cool. That’s always been something that’s been a big thing for me. I love this thing, and I struggle with this, where can I find something to inform that outside of this for a perspective shift or to add richness to my dance? In that time too, I was studying contemporary pretty heavily and got really hard because I was like, I’m afraid of the floor. All of a sudden after I got injured, I just didn’t want to go down to the floor ever. I was just like, it’s down there so far away. My back hurts. I don’t like kneeling, so I have no option, it was just like I had to hang up about it. So lots of contemporary, lots of jazz, lots of hip hop was intermingled and all that, those studies have kind of always come back and ballet of course, I always take at least one class a month just to torture myself.

Emily Running: (09:57)

Oh, ballet has a way of, there’s so much like mental stuff wrapped in it. It doesn’t matter if you completely excel as a belly dancer, you go back to ballet and it feels like you are just slapped into old ways. It is another thing that I wish that we could all get over is just like, why, why are we comparing ourselves to professional ballerinas when that’s not even the point?

Bevin Victoria: (10:31)

It’s hard. It’s real, you walk in there. It is real, all these expectations.

Emily Running: (10:37)

It is real! Comparisons and everything. Is it just because it’s ingrained in us, or is it something that we ever can escape from?

Bevin Victoria: (10:44)

It’s the process of going back and revisiting, even just the fundamentals of something you do all the time is such a healthy practice, but it can be so jarring. Especially if you’re like, I do all these big choreographies all the time and it has this, and I train for this, and I’m going to panche here. You know, and then you go back and you’re like, why is my plie crap? Because I haven’t been doing it. I haven’t been focused on it, I haven’t been present in it. I’ve been using it as a means to an end. So just that presence of mind with the practice and really being in your body with those things that you don’t spend time on. Or don’t have time to spend time on. 

Belly dance has been my big focus through the last, 10 or 12 years along with street jazz specifically, so jazz in a Broadway style. Jazz has been my thing since I was a kid, but street jazz has been something that I’ve really focused on, and Brazilian Samba, randomly I started dancing that in LA, I had a job doing that. I studied it really hard, and then it became a huge part of my life. So this has been my thing for like a decade or so. 

Emily Running: (11:52)

I love it. Do you do that here still?

Bevin Victoria: (11:54)

Not as much. I still practice on my own, but I don’t dance. It’s hard for me to get to class, it’s just hard. I don’t get to perform it that much.

Emily Running: (12:05)

Like any of these things, or like any style of dance, if you wanted to take it to a level where you are performing or you’re getting paid and doing it you really do have to, you kind of have to choose. You can’t do them all. You can do them all for fun, absolutely. But there’s not enough time in the day to train truly for each one, it’s like doing different professions. Training to be a journalist, and a food writer, and a news reporter, and everything all at once.

Bevin Victoria: (12:44)

Totally, a hundred percent, full-time.

Emily Running: (12:46)

Exactly. We’re going to jump into a deep question, which is what does dance mean to you, or has meant to you in your life, which obviously as we’ve talked is clear in many ways. But in your own words?

Bevin Victoria: (13:07)

Dance, honestly, when I was a kid, it was just the thing that you do. I loved it. No one ever forced me. I loved it. I would love to put on my little tutu or whatever. And I loved my ballet slippers, the whole experience of doing it was nothing that I ever had any resistance with. It was just what you did. It was what people did. I was like, everybody dances. So obviously I go to class and stay in at the bar and do the thing with my friend, you know? Even if I don’t like it today, that was never a thing. Of course you still do it, sometimes I don’t like broccoli, but I’m still going to do whatever, you know? So it was always just such a part of my personal culture, which I never stepped back and thought about this. I’m prefacing this because I never gave it much thought until the last few years of my life. The last, most recent, makes it sound like I’m post mortem. When I was a kid, I loved it. It was great. It was a part of my world. I didn’t think much about it.

After I got injured and had a crisis, a big identity crisis, it was an anchor for me to be in my body. I had such a weird relationship with my body image and body dysmorphia, like I’d mentioned before, eating disorder, serious problems, that I had no idea who I was if I wasn’t physical. My self-worth was completely tied up with my ability to perform these feats of skill. And my relationship with dance was tied into that of course, because that’s just the way my mind works, but it was different in the way that I had some freedoms that I didn’t have with athletics.

Bevin Victoria: (14:56)

To me it was like freedom. Once I realized that, and I could go and be maybe not in my best shape, or maybe my six pack isn’t showing right now or, but I’m going to navigate this by finding another way to move that is right for me right now. I think I’ve always had that internal thing, even though it gets suffocated and buried with all the body issue stuff. It’s been a source of freedom for me to be embodied. Does that make sense? It’s facilitated me to do that even when there was a lot of resistance, which is forever, I think, I’m just going to guess. As I got older it gave me the feeling that I was having a second chance at my life, because I’d had a lot of unfinished business with the sport that I devoted my whole universe to and finding belly dance especially. I remember walking in the class and seeing a lot of older women. I was 19, I think 18 or 19. 

Emily Running:

So they were probably 30. And you were like, look at these older women! <laughs>

Bevin Victoria: 

Look at these old ladies, that’s amazing, they’re living, they’re alive. They’re moving, they’ve given themselves permission to move their bodies. And some of them are not super thin and they’re showing their bellies, like, it was crazy to me. I was like, what the heck is going on? There was one woman that was 65, and I was just like, no way, you know, Margot Fonteyn was always was like, I’m going one day I’ll just be so old. And I’ll be amazing like her, because I put in the time.

Bevin Victoria: (16:45)

But it never was real. I didn’t know what that meant in real life. She was Margot Fonteyn and then the rest of the world did other stuff and retired. Or whatever you do. So that was amazing to me. I feel very grateful because I was surrounded with people that were like, you can do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat or thin or what, or like whatever these concepts are that we all have our own definitions for anyway. You can move your body. It’s going to be fine. Relax. So it gave me this perspective shift where it was a permission. So again, it was this different, the free that idea, freedom kind of morphed and like transmuted into like really like a permission to keep exploring this my physical vessel in my place, in the world relative to that.

Bevin Victoria: (17:37)

It was intense little epiphanies along the way, especially in the last 12 or 13 years. It’s just so important. Like art, everybody has something to say and I feel like, why not say it with your body? Why not, no matter what your ability is, where you’re at, how you move or don’t move. I’ve seen some really beautiful things that have nothing to do with movement, but it’s just the idea of somebody being in their body. To me, that stands too, you know? Yeah, it’s freedom. It’s a kind of liberation from structures that you create for yourself.

Emily Running: (18:15)

Totally. And I think as a society we’re becoming more and more disembodied, we’re becoming more separate and it’s all brain and it’s not, and then the body is becoming more and more sexualized and more and more everything. To combat really deeply ingrained stereotypes of what dance is and who dances.

Bevin Victoria: (18:41)

Who’s allowed to do it.

Emily Running: (18:43)

Exactly. I think that that is a lot to overcome. Well, we’ve talked about it already, anything you want to add to what challenges you’ve faced in your pursuit of dance? You’ve talked about eating, body image stuff. What else, or expand upon that?

Bevin Victoria: (19:05)

Aside from those things that we talked about already, like the body image things and just social societal constructs that are constantly there and you play into, or don’t, or feel overwhelmed by, or don’t or whatever, this dance that we do with navigating that, resources have been a huge thing. I remember being in LA and being like, okay, I can eat dinner tonight or I can go to Millennium. Guess what. That was a time when I was part-time working as an artist, doing the same thing that I’m doing now. So personal training, working with dancers, helping dancers for the most part or some non dancer clients, but most of the time I’m working with dancers or artists, and then being an artist and trying to balance that, and trying to constantly marry those two things so that I can monetize my love for it and knowledge base. But then also being able to spend the time and spend the resources to go and pursue it for myself has always been this weird back and forth. 80, 20, 90, 10, 1 way, you know, and it’s like a constant thing. And that maybe just speaks to the whole being an artist. The struggle of it.

Emily Running: (20:22)

Have you developed any strategies over time that you feel have been effective? With that balance.

Bevin Victoria: (20:29)

Sort of. I mean, I have, and then it seems like things shift and change and then it’s a process of recalibrating again. So it’s staying flexible, and that’s been really important. Flexibility about this month is not going to look like what I want it to look like for my personal training. So what am I going to do about that? How am I going to work that in? Teaching dance has helped me a lot to be able to care for my personal practice, at least in the maintenance department, we’re talking about the actual logistics of how do I make all these things work? Like, how many hours can I devote to this in a day or whatever. The biggest thing, I think is probably teaching and being really mindful about my personal brand and making clear choices about that so that I can incorporate my own personal practice and share that in a way that’s helpful to people.

Emily Running: (21:35)

So, making them not separate. Instead of being like, okay, I teach to make money and to do this thing and that thing. Then I go do my art, and it’s separate, and they’re different things, you trying to say, nope, they’re all the same thing. And I’m focusing on the same mission with every project that you take on. I love that, and I’ve recently started doing that too. You know, it feels late to do that, but yeah.

Bevin Victoria: (22:03)

When you figure it out you figure it out, you know?

Emily Running: (22:06)

Everything has to integrate. You have to intersect.

Bevin Victoria: (22:12)

I feel like it’s the only way. I don’t, I don’t know. I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives on that. Fortunately in the belly dance, the fusion belly dance universe, my experience, I’m not going to speak to the whole world of it, but my experience has been, and what I’ve seen as a student, as a peer, as a instructor, as name in the business that can try to leverage this finding, being really clear about your brand and your personal mission statement for your dance and what you are offering as an instructor, as a choreographer, as a producer and unifying that, I think seems like it might be a little bit easier than it is in other communities. Times have changed a lot in the last, even five or six years, especially here in Portland, but being able to integrate those visions. Being integrated, it seems a little bit more accessible in the fusion belly dance world than it is in other, like in the contemporary world, that’s not how it works for me. In the hip hop world, sometimes it works out for me that way. But I don’t teach those things as much anyway, so my experience there is less to comment on. But so integrating those things, being really clear about my goal as my own dancer in the world and really finding ways to facilitate that through the things that I can offer and share with my community has been critical.

Emily Running: (23:45)


Bevin Victoria: (23:53)

I will say I loved being a Dance Wire ambassador for the last year.

Emily Running: (23:56)


Bevin Victoria: (23:57)

I was really excited when I first, I think Elise was ambassador.

Emily Running: (24:06)

She was our pilot year, our experimental year. I’m glad she had a good experience.

Bevin Victoria: (24:09)

I was just like, what is this, what’s going on? But I think it’s great. I did a lot of work in Boston when I lived there to try to unify the dance communities in what ways I could. I feel like if I had been a little bit more on top of it or smarter, I would’ve done something like this there. That’s been great. I have felt really proud and fortunate to be a part of that community, and to make the connections that I’ve made through this. I’ve never gotten really into, I’ve had a couple of people that have introduced me to the grants world, art grants world, and that is the whole, oh my God. It’s stressful, just thinking about it.

Emily Running: (25:02)

It’s a beast, but it’s a beast that you can tame…ish.

Bevin Victoria: (25:06)

If you have the resources and you can write well, then it’s something that’s available.

Emily Running: (25:12)

It is a restrictive world, and I will say that I have mentioned that to a few funders, that as dancers writing, sometimes isn’t really in alignment with how we tell our story. And that is one way. If you’re good at it, then it works out for you. If you’re not, it doesn’t. Is there any way to do it any other way, and I’ll share with you outside of this, since this isn’t about that, but what I’ve been told about that.

Bevin Victoria: (25:42)

I’m very curious to know that. It feels a little, the access point is very narrow. But if it’s something that you feel like you can craft your mind to do, your skillset to do, then that is great. And that’s something that I’ve been fortunate enough to craft my skillset to access at a couple of points in my dance.

Emily Running: (26:16)

Let’s talk about your artist statement. You talked a lot about it, so, beyond just one piece of work or one company that you’re working with, you have so much going on. And you are a dancer, and a musician, an actor, and taking on film, and whatever. And then you’ve also talked about how clear you have become with taking what you have to offer and integrating that in. So like, what is it?

Bevin Victoria: (26:56)

This is a great question, because I was talking about how important that has been to be clear. And I’m saying that because it’s taken quite some time, an embarrassingly long time, which is only because I’ve determined that it is embarrassing, but expectations, whatever, to get clear on what that is. And my main goals, I was all over the place for a long time. I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t say it because it seemed wrong or something, and it’s permissions, here we go back to permissions again. My main goal from the beginning has been to be able to create dance and also utilize my other skill sets in order to inform that, and create dance that tells my story that is also in effort to speak to the conversation of representation, to tell the story of people, to encourage people, to tell their stories, especially if they feel they don’t have platforms.

So on the broader scale, it’s that. For me personally, I love the concept of fusion and also honoring the traditions of each individual influence that I pull in. That’s been a huge thing for me, especially being in the fusion belly dance world. Being really clear about my style and where my influences are coming from and honoring the lineage of each dance, because a lot of them are culturally folkloric dances or dances from places that the culture is fading into the desert because no one cares or no one knows, or these traditions are not being passed down, imperialism, colonialism, all of these conversations. I feel beholden to carry the weight of some of that, because I’ve taken an interest in it, and I’ll wear the cost, you know, like I’ll take pieces from it or whatever and I did that irresponsibly for a while. I think a lot of fusion dancers have had that story at some point in time. 

So, carrying on the traditions of the dances that have meant so much to me as a huge part of my personal mission and brand. And also being in a position where I can share these things, and share my specific perspective in a way that is financially sustainable so that I can put resources back into the communities that have given me that education and given me that inspiration. And also help other dancers to continue to fund their own dance practices. It’s huge for me. For me, that felt bad because that in part also meant being a successful dancer, teaching my specific heritage of dance through my brand and making a lot of money so that I can put that into the community and also continue to create, but that feels like scary to say, because it’s like, oh, you can’t say that you want to make a lot of money. Like no, you can. And it’s weird to say, you know.

Emily Running: (30:14)

It’s a stigma. I think that, I don’t know, maybe people get to an age or maybe people do it earlier or everybody does things at different times, but I’m also thinking a lot about that. And I think that hearing what people are saying about our relationship to money and how sometimes it’s just a dirty word. And you’re a dirty person, if you have it, and that is not true. It doesn’t have to be the case. To make it, and use it to put into what you care about and put into the people, I mean, it’s not dirty at all. It’s another one of those areas where we have all of these really deep seeded stigmas. Just a really complicated relationship with it. And if only we could make it easier for ourselves and just say, yeah, if I made money, I would do great things with it. So why not be a great example of having it and doing awesome things, and bam. 

Bevin Victoria: (31:22)

That’s one of the things I love about with Bakasana, one of the groups that I dance with. I love it so much, we do the Ren Faire. We perform at the Ren Faire, all summer long. I love that so much, it’s so important, it’s so silly because people are just like, oh, it’s the Ren Faire. And you’re just like Huzzah, you’re goofing off and people eat turkey legs and wear fairy wings. And I’m like, yes, it’s totally that. Another reason why it’s a good thing that I support and care about, you know? Not the turkey legs, I’m vegan, but to each his own. The idea of patronage, patronage for the art. We don’t know what that means. And people, the average person doesn’t get it. You have to be told, okay, this is the part where you pay.

If you came to one of our professional shows where we are doing exactly this set in these expensive costumes with these trained musicians and all of us that are multi-artists that are percussionists and dancers, and these whatever, you’d pay like $30, and it would be the same thing. You just wouldn’t be outside, I guess. Or maybe you would, I don’t know what the venue is, you know? But it’s the idea that people, we can educate people, like here’s an exchange that we’re having right now. And the way that you play into this exchange is money. And the way that we play into this exchange is energy and entertainment and art and something beautiful and amazing to take you out of your life and inspire you. And that’s a fair thing, you know? I love it so much, but I feel like that has become something for me that I want to educate people and keep facilitating opportunities for artists to be able to be in that and not feel bad about that.

Emily Running: (32:54)

You know, what your artist statement just got me thinking about is, artists are philosophers, right? We actually get to take the time to step back and look at things like, okay, how in our current world do we honor tradition? If we’re moving on from some of those ideas that were there, or if something isn’t right about it, and how do we honor it and move on with it? I don’t know, we are exploring something at a depth that not everybody has the luxury to do. But it’s such an important role in the progression of the world. 

It’s such an important role to be able to take that time and explore, and do it wrong, and learn from doing it wrong, and be embarrassed about it. But, then be humble and honest about that, and then move in a new direction, and then be able to support that and support other people through that. I don’t know. There’s just a lot of power in that that I think goes unrecognized. Those were just my thoughts. As I was listening to your artist statement, I was like, I think philosopher, is that a real job? Is that a real job?

Bevin Victoria: (34:18)

Totally. Little like Insta stories with quotes with some philosophy?

Emily Running: (34:23)

Or inspiration or, I mean there’s so many things. We’re going to keep plugging along. Talk about the current dance scene in Portland. What is awesome? What’s lacking? You referenced that it’s changed so much, even in five years. Tell me where we’re at.

Bevin Victoria: (34:48)

My current thoughts on it, and I’ve been a little bit out of it in the last month or so, because I’ve been working on film and an EP so I’ve been in a place doing a thing and not really going out into the world that much. But venues are a constant conversation. Lack of space and people. At the same time, there’s new spaces that are popping up that are smaller, that people are really working hard to make it affordable for rehearsal space and small venues. I think people are challenged right now to reimagine the idea of how we navigate that.

I think it’s a problem, but it’s something that people have been trying to be really creative and working around. Space is a huge thing. Venues for performances, as a producer, that’s always like a question of, okay, where’s the perfect 60 person venue that’s not crazy expensive, that’s outfitted for what I need, lights and blah, blah, blah, and rehearsal space. Like I said, I think people are being really creative about how to navigate that. That’s been a really beautiful thing to see in the community, people trying to create spaces where they can, and get creative. Just let go of expectations of what that should look like in the dance community and how that should play out in and really rely on the community and our existing resources to make that work.

Bevin Victoria: (36:18)

My personal experience is that classes, it’s been an interesting journey since I’ve moved back from Boston in 2015. I’ve watched people. I can tell that people feel spread really thin, but I really love how people are turning to social media platforms and platforms like Patreon and things to offer online classes, with way discounted rates. I feel like I see people coming together in that way and trying to stay connected, even though they’re not maybe all going to classes together in the way that they used to be. I see the need for creating access points for people that don’t have the resources to pursue dance in the way that they want. I love how people are trying to branch out of the typical, go in and pay for class and do the thing, and coming together by really utilizing social media. I feel like that’s the biggest thing that I’ve noticed, even in the local community, the turn towards really wanting to make dance films and doing crowdfunding. So it’s coming out of a need, but I love how people are trying to work together and be really creative to fill those needs in a way that maybe wouldn’t if the needs weren’t there.

Emily Running: (37:43)

Paint and idealistic vision of what Portland dance community would look like in 10 years?

Bevin Victoria: (37:51)

Oh my gosh. Multiple venues at each of the different sizes, beautiful venues that are all over town. Different quadrants that are accessible to people, lots of dance classes that are, you know, that are well, the thing is, critical mass is a thing. You get enough bodies in a room paying a reasonable rate, and it works for everybody. I love when that happens, when you can say I’m going to offer this class for $5 because I know 20 people are going to come and are hungry and that makes it totally fine for me as a human in the world that has to pay rent. I love the vision of that happening, coming back, because I feel like that can be accessible again. And, just lots of events. I went to Adapt, the all styles battle that they have a couple, a few in July.

Bevin Victoria: (38:50)

I love seeing the community there. I just want to see more of that. I want to see more people, coming to those, the general public. I love the average dude that wanders up and it’s like, I love this song. And then he’s like, oh my God, that guy’s a robot, and you’re like, yeah, stay, watch, check it out, talk to people, integrate, even if you’re not going to become a dancer, just be involved in the community in that way. I’m excited about more of that happening. And dance being out in the world, like 10 Tiny Dances was great. People could just drive on the road and see a professional company on a small, tiny little stage in crazy bird costumes, living their life. I’m excited about more of that, also community dance events that are accessible to people, with funding, from places that have the funding to do it, pouring their resources. 

Emily Running: (39:41)

And patrons, though. Just come, that supports. Show up, that’s support. Take a risk.

Bevin Victoria: (39:48)

Take a risk. Just trust that it’s going to be an experience for you, whether or not it’s your favorite thing you’ve ever seen. You’re going to have a story to tell. And you did something way bigger and beyond just walking into a theater, not knowing what the hell was going on, you know?

Emily Running: (40:04)


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