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Rudd to make dance debut

Open Space Yoga owner will perform ballet at Free Flight show
dancer
Michael Rudd is going from zero dance experience to performing ballet on stage, including a solo, 10 months later.

Ten months ago Michael Rudd had absolutely no dance experience.

Fast forward to today and he'll be performing ballet, including a solo, in Free Flight Dance's True Colours and Shining Stars show tonight and this weekend at Genesis Theatre in Ladner.

"Julie talked me in to it," he says, referring to the local dance studio's Julie Brash.

Brash was coming to classes at Rudd's Open Space Yoga last summer and asked if she gave him 10 months of private classes, would he take on a specific role in her show.

"My gut reaction was no, but I went through a whole bunch of stuff last year like losing family members and you just realize life is short," he says.

"And who the hell asks a 47-year-old guy to start

ballet?" Rudd also decided to face a lifetime fear -stage fright.

He also made the decision to blog (http://ballewiener.com) about his experience learning ballet.

"It seemed like a good idea. I think originally when I did it, I figured if I blogged people would laugh with me, not at me," he says, adding that he's getting feedback about helping others deal with the fear of going on stage.

In terms of learning ballet, he says the bar work is very technical, similar to yoga.

"I'm just scratching the surface of it. Getting away from the bar and actually dancing is out of my comfort zone."

Ballet has been probably the hardest thing he's done, Rudd says, adding Brash is a brilliant teacher.

"I'm enjoying it, I'm actually signing up for adult classes in the fall. So I will carry on after this. I'm not sure about the performance side of things," he says with

a laugh.

Brash says she's been very impressed with Rudd.

"The thing that impresses me probably the most about Michael is the work ethic. You can only go as far as what you will push yourself as a dancer. We say this to the students all the time," she says.

The show is split into two halves. The first portion, True Colours, features ballet and has a story to it as well.

It's about a girl who has autism and how harsh and judgmental society was in the past and how it has changed.

"It's not just about society accepting other people who are different and have things that are outside of what we call the norm, but it's about accepting yourself for who you are no matter what that is," Brash explains.

The second half will include a range of performances, including hip-hop, jazz, tap and musical theatre.

Free Flight Dance presents True Colours and Shining Stars tonight at 7 p.m., tomorrow at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Genesis Theatre, 5005-45th Ave., Ladner.

Tickets are $20 each. Tickets are at the door subject to availability.

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