March 20, 2012

Memorial stones.

That’s what Much-Afraid picks up each time she learns a lesson on her journey to the High Places.

With Opening night for Hinds’ Feet this Friday, a year long journey for me is about to reach the finish line. Creating a full length work to the book started as a thought 3 years ago, then became a concept with one of our composers, then movement, phrases, ideas, pictures, narration, costumes and the complete story will grace the stage this weekend.

I’m still amazed it’s almost here.

But along the way I started collecting stones of my own from lessons I’ve learned.


It started with 3 stones from the Dan River during a vacation with friends, then blue and clear stones for everyday miracles, bubbles for joy in relationships, a Hope stone, stones from climbing a mountain and the bowl is still growing. It has really helped me remember all the change I have seen in my life this past year. And perhaps you might want to start a memorial stone collection of your own to remember lessons learned and goals accomplished through the year. After this weekend I think I will find a stone to add my collection for completion.

Something we’d be surprised to know about Refuge Dancers….

Kayte can’t whistle.

Esther was knifed in Egypt.

Although she is incredibly even-tempered, Ali has inattentive ADHD.


Guess who I am: I have 2 brothers, but they are 14 and 18 years older than me. The oldest has 2 daughters and I am closer in age to my oldest niece (she’s 15) than I am to either of my brothers. AND, both of my parents had siblings much older or younger than them. My mom has a brother 21 years younger than her and my dad has a brother 21 years older than him.


I’m Megan!


David-  I don’t especially like coffee or wine, but somehow know a lot about both.

Becca- I am not much of a crier, even in sad or dark movies.


Guess who I am: I’m a singer and lyricist that’s currently coming out of the closet (yikes)


I’m Ashley!


Caitlin is distantly related to one of the beach boys (Mike Love).

Who’s danced on 5 continents?  That would be Hope.

Kristin’s last year as a student at Georgia Tech, she participated in a study abroad program in Monterrey, Mexico, where she was able to study Mexican folk dance. It was definitely the highlight of her study abroad experience, and one of the best experiences she’s ever had as a dancer!

And If you ever are in need of some lace, ask Susie, she‘s a lace maker.

As for me, I only have 8 toenails. After years of dancing on pointe, my little pinky toes nails had to go.


Open Hands

March 12, 2012

It’s funny how something follows you all your life, a theme, image, thought, phrase or motto. I’ve had many motto’s created from life lessons, like “All I learned not to do in life I learned in Texas”. I have always loved trees, the big tall one, that you can climb in and hug. And always tried to live life with open hands.



This image, and picture of surrender has followed me around for a long time now which is basically since I learned this lesson some 13 years ago. Learned not to hold on to things as if their mine, be prideful and think I can make something happen in my own strength. With Hinds’ Feet less then 2 weeks away, I am constantly reminded of this fact, I cannot make this show a success on my own. I think that’s also one of the lesson’s with Hinds’ Feet I most identify with, her battle with pride. Because it’s still something I battle with as Pride is quite a strong enemy. As I started creating the section that deals with this character, these hands come out. The clinched fists, not wanting to budge giving way to open, yielded hands, turning palms down in surrender to the One who is all and through all things are made.


She learned the first important lesson on her journey upwards, that if one stops to parley with Pride and listens to his poisonous suggestions and, above all, if he is allowed to lay his grasp upon any part of one, Sorrow becomes unspeakably more unbearable afterwards and anguish of heart has bitterness added to it. For the first time, Much-Afraid of her own free will held out both hands to her two companions.

What do Refuge Dance Company members least like to eat or which ballet exercise just sends them up a wall? I asked everyone their thoughts so we can share those with you today.

Esther hates most meat and other fatty foods seeing she’s a vegetarian. And fast tendus from 5th position aren’t her thing either.

Kayte doesn’t like broccoli and David doesn’t like Spinach, Mushrooms, and Eggplant. Anna’s  least favorite ballet exercise is battements divise en quart en dehors (a la Mrs. Biggs class) or fish…any and every way.

Susie doesn’t like flick flacks and any slimy foods.  “That’s just not my texture.  No oysters for me.  No overcooked spinach.”

You won’t see Becca enjoying pirouetting while eating oatmeal. Ali doesn’t like to eat green peas and along with David and Kayte, doesn’t like adagio.

Développés to the side do not give Ashley a warm and fuzzy feeling, neither does fast food, minus Chick-fil-a, that doesn’t count as fast food in her opinion.

Caitlin least favorite ballet exercise is petit allegro and she also doesn’t like potato salad. So no jumping picnics during the summer for her! Hope does not like flan and like Becca, doesn’t enjoy a pirouette combo.

Kristin, on the other hand, does not have a least favorite ballet exercise: “I’m such a bunhead that I sincerely do love every ballet exercise. But my most favorites are Adagio and Fondu in the center. Even though they’re really hard, it feels so good to stretch long, to be in control and on your leg, and to do those exercises well.”

 For me I loathe guacamole. Or as I call it, “Yukamole” And I think I have to side with Kristin, I don’t have a least favorite exercise in ballet class. As I teacher, I know each one was their own value, purpose and need, some I like more than others and yes, some I despise doing even though I know it will make me stronger. I guess my least favorite thing would be for someone to ask me to eat guacamole while attempting to do 32 fouettés on the left.


Dancer Spotlight

February 28, 2012

Meet Caitlin Chase


She’s been a member of Refuge Dance Company since 2010 and she’s one amazing lady! She’s a college student at KSU and has been dancing for 15 year. Her most shinning moment in life included playing a singing bullfrog with a sequined dress and New York accent in a production of “Honk” the musical. If you joined her for a cup of coffee she would probably get a Soy Caffe Mocha. Or you might find her at Pinkberry enjoying the Coconut flavor with lots of fruit and cheesecake bites. She was home schooled most of high school so she never had a prom/graduation ceremony. But when she was 8, she had a hamster named blessing that she wrote a book about for a writing competition. When she’s not dancing with Refuge or in a college dance class you might find her using those talents while shopping at the grocery store. She really likes to dance down the grocery store isles when no one is looking (she says it’s a little embarrassing when you get caught though)


Caitlin is also a very talented artist, painter and has a passion to use her talent to serve. She has done 2 paintings for Refuge.


like I said she’s one amazing lady and we’re very glad she’s a part of Refuge…

When she's not sleeping on the job!


In honor of live music

February 25, 2012

Today we get to rehearse our piece with live music! We have 3 amazingly talented musicians who have each composed original pieces of music for our production of Hinds’ Feet on High Places. We have been working with recorded versions of their work, or better yet, a midi recording of it. (It’s a computer generated version of what each instruments plays, it’s not the same by any stretch of the imagination) But not today, today it will be live, real, and gorgeous. The rich notes from the piano, violin and viola will fill the studio and we will get to move and dance in tune with these beautiful works of art.


needless to say, I’m excited!


But in honor of music today, I’ve asked each of our dancers what they’re favorite song or band is. Here’s their responses:


Oh, lots of answers… lots of answers….  For a musician’s body of work, I like Peter Gabriel and Mark Knopfler.  (Either of them can have a conjugal visit anytime, but that’s just between you and me.  Let’s don’t share that with greater Atlanta.)  My favorite classical piece is “Liebeslied” by Fritz Kriesler.  It means “Love’s Sorrow” and it does me in every time I hear it.  My current contemporary favorites are “How He Loves” (David Crowder? – I don’t keep up with the artists very well) and “Made to Love” by Toby Mac (Mack?).  If either comes on the radio I dance.  In the kitchen, in the car, wherever. ~Susie

Chris Botti ~Hope

Misty Edwards ~ Caitlin

I’m pretty eclectic…anything sincere and inspiring.  I have the tendency to jump around to different artists and genres like every other week haha ~ Ashley

JJ Heller and Joshua Radin ~Ali

Tricky, tricky.  So many to choose from…  Can I just say one that I really like?  How about “Rain” by Patti Griffin ~Rebecca

Mumford & Sons ~ Anna

David Crowder Band ~David

My all time favorite musician is Natalie Grant because she has an amazing voice and you can really tell that her music is from her heart. I am always inspired when I listen to her music. I relate to her personal story a lot, so her music often expresses how I feel. ~Megan

Dave Matthews Band, “You and Me” (it’s mine and my husband’s song)🙂 ~Kayte

Josh Groban ~Esther

The Waterfall ~Katherine


Most Embarrassing Phrases

February 23, 2012

Have you ever opened your mouth, heard something crazy come out of it, and wished you could quickly take it back?

Here’s a few of Refuge company member’s most embarrassing phrases……


Swing dancing with a guy I didn’t know, except finding out that as a trained dancer I was never taught to talk and dance at the same time…he asked what I was in school for, and as soon as I opened my mouth I tripped over both of my feet…my answer, “I’m a dance major”


“You can’t make a deal with your nose.”


Listening to my good friend and fellow dancer talk about his plans when he grew up, (we were like 15 at the time) he was planning on dancing pro, traveling, college etc. They all sounded great to me but something was missing, and at this time I was in the phase of referring to people in the 3rd person, so I asked “We are getting married aren’t we?” the look on his face was priceless, and I of course turned a bright shade of red, I no longer speak in the 3rd person.


But some of us just couldn’t come up with just one….

“I know I’ve said many embarrassing things but I’ve obviously not said anything traumatizing enough to remember what it was. I really tried to think of something!!”


Guess next time I should ask what’s your most embarrassing moment on stage? That one will be full of responses I’m sure, I know I’ve had plenty of slips, falls, missed cues, wrong costume changes, you name it! But for now, we’d love to hear from you: What’s your most embarrassing phrase or moment?

Favorite TV shows

February 21, 2012

Susie is a fan of “Castle” and she also likes “The Amazing Race”.

Hope likes the Gilmore Girls and Caitlin likes Malcolm in the Middle.

Ashley doesn’t have a favorite, “TV’s just not the same anymore ”

Big Bang Theory is Ali’s favorite and Becca, David and I all like The Cosby Show. (thanks Netflicks!)

It’s a three way tie for Anna between Law and Order SVU/Criminal Minds/House.

Megan couldn’t decide on just one, “Hmm that’s hard. I mostly just have the TV on for background noise. I like TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and TV Land. I used to love 7th Heaven back in high school though! I guess I would consider it my favorite show of all time, even though I haven’t watched it in years.”

Kayte is a fan of The Office and Esther loves SYTYCD and Biggest Loser.

But I think Kristin takes the cake for the best response to all my “what’s your favorite_____ Fill in the blank” questions with this response:

I’m potentially the most indecisive person I know of (not sure…). That makes it nearly impossible to answer all the “favorites” questions from this questionnaire. To avoid a meltdown, I had to skip them. So if you really want to know my favorite book/movie/whatever, you’re welcome to ask me sometime, but be prepared for a long discussion and analysis of every book/movie/whatever I’ve ever consumed, and be prepared to leave the discussion without a straight answer.

Dancer Spotlight

February 18, 2012

Today we would like to shed the spotlight on one of our company member, Rebecca Geiger.


Rebecca will be performing the character of Sorrow in our production of Hinds’ Feet in March. Her kind personality and soft movement quality have helped shaped her character and are a wonderful to work with in the studio. Let’s take a moment to get to know Rebecca, or as we call her, Becca.

Q. What’s your favorite musician/ band/song?

Tricky, tricky.  So many to choose from…  Can I just say one that I really like?  How about “Rain” by Patti Griffin

Q. If you could be anything, what would you/it be?

I’d love to be a cat.  I think it would be wonderful to have my only job be sleeping in people’s laps

Q. Favorite food?

Lasagna (but only the way my Mom makes it)

Q. How many years of dance training have you had?

Technically, 8.  Realistically, 14.5

Q. What’s something we’d be surprised to know?

I am not much of a cryer, even in sad or dark movies.

Q. Share a shining moment in life/shining moment in dance, either one.

Why getting to dance with Refuge, of course =)

Q. Favorite drink at Starbucks or Caribou,?

Right now, I am really into the Salted Caramel Mochas at Starbucks.  I am still in love with the Mint Condition at Caribou.

Q. Favorite Pinkberry flavor and what topping you like to get on it?

I don’t know.  Clearly I haven’t been to Pinkberry enough.  Everything I have ever gotten there was wonderful.

Q. Why you like dancing with Refuge?

I feel like a real dancer.

Q. Tell us three random facts about yourself.

1) I have an awesome wink

2) I have never broken a bone

3) I have eaten a cricket (on purpose)

Clearly, that last one needs to be explained. Catch her after the show on Friday March 23rd or Sunday March 25th and get the full story!



February 16, 2012

Hinds’ Feet on High Places is about a long journey the main character Much-Afraid takes and all the lessons she learns along the way. She travels through a desert, through forests, beside the sea and all the way up the mountain before her journey is complete. In honor of her journey, we wanted to share with you the farthest places we have ever traveled.

Esther and Anna have both traveled as far as India. Kayte has traveled to Mexico.

David has traveled to San Fransisco, and brought his wife back a mug. Australia is the farthest place Rebecca has been.

Ali has traveled to Krakow, Poland while she was studying abroad in London.

Ashley has traveled to Los Angeles, California. Don’t know if she got a souvenir mug for herself or not.

Caitlin had the chance to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to serve and love on orphans last summer.

Hope has been to China and Thailand. Kristin is not quite sure but she believes it’s a close race between Honolulu, Hawaii and Rome, Italy.

Susie has traveled to Germany and Katherine to England.

But for now, we aren’t going anywhere out of the country until after the show, or Katherine will have a heart attack!