Senior Lura Price Considers Dance a Lifelong Endeavor

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Senior Lura Price Considers Dance a Lifelong Endeavor

Senior Lura Price is heading to the University of Oregon next year, where she plans to continue dancing.

Senior Lura Price is heading to the University of Oregon next year, where she plans to continue dancing.

Sam Hull

Senior Lura Price is heading to the University of Oregon next year, where she plans to continue dancing.

Sam Hull

Sam Hull

Senior Lura Price is heading to the University of Oregon next year, where she plans to continue dancing.

Peyton Hedges, Editor in Chief

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At five years old, senior Lura Price eagerly walked into her very first ballet class. Like many kids, her mom had signed her up for dance lessons, and the day had finally come. Price twirled and stood on her tippy-toes in her pink leotard, and by the end of the lesson, she had fallen in love with dance.

Since that first ballet class, dance has been a core part of Price’s life and although her journey has had its ups and downs, her passion for dance is undeniable, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Price took ballet at the Oregon School of Ballet from the time she was in kindergarten all the way until she was in the fifth grade. By then she was dancing two to three times a week, and was starting to feel worn out.

Price took a two year break after that, dancing less frequently—anywhere from once a week to not at all.

“I think I was taking for granted how much I got to dance,” Price said. “I was only doing ballet and I didn’t know yet how much I would love Contemporary and Modern and Tap.”

Photo courtesy of Lura Price
Price’s favorite styles of dance are Contemporary and Modern.

Slowly she began to get back into dance, and “realized how much I had missed it.” In the seventh grade she started dancing with Cami Curtis Performing Arts Center, competing on their dance team and learning more Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Tap, and Hip-Hop.

When that studio had to close down, Price started dancing at Studio One and competed with their team for two years. “It was really fun… I made a lot of close friends and learned a lot there,” she said.

During her sophomore year, Price made the decision to switch dance studios, and started to dance at BodyVox as a part of the Junior Artists Generator program (JAG). BodyVox is a studio that only puts on performances instead of participating in competitions, so Price doesn’t compete anymore, but for the last two years she has enjoyed her time there and has been able to see and experience what a professional dance studio is like.

“I’ve learned and grown so much while being a part of JAG,” Price said. “I’ve gotten to learn new improv practices, new techniques, BodyVox company repertoire, and much more.”

Last summer Price traveled to San Francisco, CA to participate in the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance summer intensive—a four week session of dance all day long, six days a week.

“It was really challenging,” she said. “Both the classes we were taking and also having the stamina to dance for such long periods of time for days on end, but it was super fun and super rewarding.”

Price learned from a variety of teachers including former company members from Alonzo King LINES Ballet and the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel. She also studied different forms of dance, one of her favorites being “Gaga,” which was created by Ohad Naharin of the Batsheva Dance Company, and which “is a way to research movement centered around gaining self awareness through one’s body and pushing one’s limits,” Price said. “Learning and researching in this way, especially with members of the company, was an amazing experience and opportunity.”

It’s safe to say that Price’s dance schedule is a lot to handle, as she dances at BodyVox after school four days a week for anywhere from two hours to four and a half hours, and also on Saturdays for up to five and a half hours. She also has performances twice a year.

“Sometimes it gets really overwhelming,” Price said. “I think if I didn’t do dance I probably would have time for a lot [of] other things, like… being with friends, or doing school work, but I’m happy that I do it, and I’d rather be doing dance than not doing it.”

When Price finds herself feeling worn out and tired of dancing, she has to find ways to motivate herself and remind herself of why she does it. “I think even when I don’t like it I still want to do it,” Price said. “It does get hard especially toward a show when there are more rehearsals and classes but I just always tell myself to go and it’s always really rewarding and makes me happy to be able to dance.”

Pre-performance jitters are a normal aspect of dance for Price, which she says is the worst on opening nights of her performances. “I think I just get nervous because I care about what I’m doing and I want to do good,” Price said. “I usually just breathe through it and try not to tense up too much or try to combat it and just face it head on and it usually gets less and less throughout the performance.”

Keeping up with school on top of her rigorous dance schedule has been a challenge for Price in the past, but throughout the years she has learned to manage her time and stay on top of her work.

“On days where I’m rehearsing [or] taking class really late I try to get as much of my work done as early as possible,” Price said. “I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I prioritize sleep over work, but usually I can get everything done if I plan out what I need to do [and] when I need to do it.”

Price recognizes the impact that her dance career has had on her as a person and the life skills it has taught her. “I think it definitely is like any kind of art, where it has given me an outlet,” Price said. “I think it has also given me a sense of hard work because you have to really work to see improvement in yourself… [and] it has taught me a lot about community and making friends.”

When she is dancing, Price feels many different emotions. “If I’m dancing in a piece and the choreographer has a specific story that they’re trying to portray then sometimes I feel sad or angry or however the movement prompts emotion that the dancers want the audience to feel,” Price said. For the most part, though, Price said she tends to just feel happy or grateful that she is able to dance as much as she does and with the people she gets to work with and learn from.

Photo courtesy of Lura Price
Outside of dance, Price enjoys playing guitar, spending time with friends, and has recently taken up photography.

Price maintains a mentality around dance that is equally goal-oriented and creative. “I’m always setting goals for myself and trying to learn and explore movement but I keep dancing because I love it and for the fun and creative outlet,” Price said.

A goal that Price currently has is to work with other people in the community to create a multimedia project. “I’ve had peers and teachers combine video and animation and dance, or create music specifically to go [with] a certain piece of work [or] choreography,” Price said. “I’ve been wanting to reach out to people to collaborate and create a cool project involving dance and other forms of art… [I’m] not sure what that looks like specifically yet but I really like the idea of it.”

Throughout her many years as a dancer Price has been able to count on her mom to be her biggest supporter. “[She] has always allowed me to make the choice to keep dancing and support me without forcing me into it, and she’s always come to all my performances and competitions which makes me really happy,” Price said.

After joining JAG at BodyVox during her sophomore year, Price began to seriously consider dance as a potential career, but said she isn’t sure yet if she will pursue it after high school. “I think I’ll always be dancing,” Price said. “I’ll keep dance in my life and future whether it’s only for the fun and creative outlet or if it’s a part of my career… I need to keep my options open and figure out what will make me happiest and make me feel the most fulfilled, and I really don’t know what that is yet.”

Next year Price will be attending the University of Oregon, where she is going in undecided, but she is leaning toward double majoring in dance and something else.

Price has a performance coming up on May 17, 18, and 19 at the BodyVox Dance Center in Northwest Portland. There will also be live music from the Metropolitan Youth Symphony.