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Inspired by her years of performing at Jacob’s Pillow with New Chamber Ballet, Christin Hanna moved home to Lake Tahoe, California, with a mission to create a similar performance series with the breathtaking Sierra Nevadas as a backdrop. In less than a decade, she has managed to build her own 501(c)3 organization, the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, which serves the community by bringing in professional dance artists from around the world as well as providing local students with advanced training and performing opportunities year round. While the winter season is reserved for a repertory show, Hanna has begun using October to host guest companies. Showing off her buzzy curating skills, this October brings of-the-moment choreographer Claudia Schreier and her company to this vacation town turned cultural destination. Beginning this evening, the 4th Annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival (which Hanna co-directs with Constantine Baecher) will feature new works by Christian Burns and Baecher, as well as an excerpt from Swan Lake, and a selection from “Agathlon” by mid-century choreographer Erick Hawkins.

{ Dd } editor Candice Thompson caught up with Hanna before the festival starts, and prior to landing in Lake Tahoe herself, to find out how she makes it through such a busy production week. 

{ DIY dancer }: What gets you over the hump?

Christin Hanna: Wednesday is always the day we begin loading in, so I am delegating a lot and using the technical side of my brain talking about wattage of electrical outlets, ticket sales and donor relations. It’s also the time that I feel the dancers and artists involved in the performance need the most trust, support and love from the Director’s chair. All the notes have been given, the fifths have been crossed, and its time to remember why we come together to share this beautiful art form with each other and our audience. Often, I am performing as well. I’ve learned to take the time I need for my own brain and my own body to enjoy these precious performance moments after months of fundraising, designing and planning.

5-Christin Hanna, Photo by Jen Schmidt

Photo by Jen Schmidt.

I get through Wednesday knowing that this is the moment its all been leading up to, and before we know it, it will be gone. Come Monday morning, all we’ll have is our memory of the experience of moving through the steps and feeling completely alive onstage.

Lake Tahoe Dance Festival
July 27-29, 2016
Gatekeeper’s Museum, Tahoe City, CA
Click Here for tickets.


Written by Candice Thompson

After more than a decade in Brooklyn, Candice Thompson is now an Atlanta-based artist and writer. Prior to dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet Company and ad hoc Ballet, she trained with Kee Juan Han at the School of Ballet Arizona and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She founded LOLAstretch Dancewear in 2000 and has designed costumes for a variety of theater and dance companies across the country. She recently received a masters degree in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University’s Creative Writing Program and more of her dance writing can be found in the pages of Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Teacher.