Junior dance major La’Rodney Freeman sat down with the Houstonian to shed light on his personality and participation in Noble Dance Company’s “Spectrum,” and this year’s Senior Studio. Freeman has appeared multiple times in the Dance department’s aerial dance pieces. In those performances there are two massive pieces of cloth that extend from the ceiling to the floor. Freeman, 20, was also a guest artist in Noble Motion’s latest piece “Collide.”
TH: What is your favorite genre of dance?
LF: It’s probably a mixture between aerial dance and modern dance?
TH: Where did you grow up?
LF: I’m originally from Lufkin. I moved from Lufkin in 2001, then I moved to Houston.
TH: How did you get into dance?
LF: I’ve been doing theater since I was 5 years old and I’d never had any dance training at all. In in middle school we did a musical and the choreographer told me I should audition for this company for the whole district called Alief Jazz Ballet, but I didn’t want to do that. When I got into high school, I saw a lot of my friends were in the dance company. I auditioned and I was absolutely horrible, but I actually got into the company. That was junior year in high school.
TH: How do you feel when you dance, or, where is your mind when you dance?
LF: When I first started it was just to get the training. I saw the camaraderie the dancers haveàwe all go through things together. We help each other with our problems. I feel release. Stress relieving.
TH: Was there a moment when you were felt, “Oh my God, I love dance.”?
LF: I had been wanted to do the Russian dance. My senior year she put me as the soloist in that dance. It was just amazing. From that moment on I was like I think I going do this for the rest of my life.
TH: Christmas will be here soon. Do you ever get tired of the Nutcracker?
LF: I personally can’t sit through the whole nutcracker. But it’s tradition. A couple people from here said we should do a modern version of itàchange it up a bit but still keep the tradition.
TH: What would you say are your strengths as a dancer?
LF: My main strong points are strength and speed.
TH: What are your weaknesses?
LF: I’m not as flexible as I like to be. I don’t pick up combinations as fast as I would like, but I’ve developed a trick. I have a trick that I chew gum. It is horrible. Every dancer would tell you not to chew gum.
TH: What are your weaknesses as a person?
LF: While I listen, I think I talk a lot. I probably say things I probably shouldn’t say, but if at that moment in my mind I feel like you need to know it I will tell you. I don’t waste my breath.
TH: What do you think professors would say about you?
LF: If there’s anything they need strength foràI’m not saying they would call me butà They would say that I am dependable.
TH: What are you doing when you’re not dancing?
LF: Well I have academic classes. I can’t really say I spend a lot of time studying. I usually spend my time working or spending time with my friends. I need to have that. I want to take my profession and career seriously, and I do. But not to the point where it’s not fun anymore.
TH: Is there a message you’re trying to portray in dance?
LF: Right now there’s no message. But the more I grow, the more I learn I will have more to say. Right now when you watch me, you should be inspired. If you’re not, just wait. It’s coming.
TH: Is there a piece that you’re performed in that you felt was amazing?
LF: There are a couple. The Grid, a piece with white walls and lighting. There was also a piece called Power. It was 31 or 33 of us on stage, and it was hard dancing all the way through for about 15 minutes. At the end we were all in line and had three people stand up and it just rained on them. There was a spotlight. Another was that same [fall] semester was a guest artist from New York Khaleah London’s “The Ultimatum.” It showed our oppression and becoming better people. We danced to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. The cast was amazing.
TH: What is a surprising or random fact about you?
LF: I love Whitney Houston. I love music. I can go probably a couple of days without dancing, but I can’t go any more than a couple of hours. I need it.