Cassandra Anne Ream's programs provide video learning to children and adults to study the precision of movement. The mission behind the courses & digital portfolio is to make advanced education accessible at a price most people can afford.,,

0 (0s):
Hello, and welcome to dance talks. Today is December 17th, 2020. I’m your host, Andrea Cody and my guest today is Cassandra bream. Cassandra Rheem is a performing arts specialist and educator, Cassandra. Welcome to dance talks.

1 (15s):
Hey, thank you so much, Andrea.

0 (18s):
Thanks for being here. I’m excited to learn more about you. Can you tell us, like from the beginning, how you first learned to dance and develop your skills?

1 (26s):
Absolutely. So I have an incredible mother who enrolled me at a very young age of two. And thankfully from there it was a joy ride. I was able to travel a lot around a lot too when I was younger. And so I was able to work with a lot of different teachers and specialist, but most importantly, I would, I believe that my most incredible amount of training really happened at home, which included a lot of daily stretching and self practice. I didn’t have the luxury to go to class every day. So creating that opportunity for myself at home was wonderful. In my younger years, I studied academically in summer programs, such as steps on Broadway, internationally acclaimed, Alvin Ailey, and the San Diego ballet as well as edge performing arts scholarship program.

1 (1m 19s):
And I worked closely with many more Terry Beaman and D Hillier who were the catalyst to my career as a professional choreographer and educator.

0 (1m 27s):
Amazing. Well, thank you, Cassandra’s mom for baking all those amazing opportunities available. That’s incredible. And you really went coast to coast with that?

1 (1m 39s):
I sure did. Yep. We lived in Montana, Ohio, and then I studied extensively in California and New York.

0 (1m 46s):
Awesome. So tell us about your courses.

1 (1m 50s):
Absolutely. The online courses I developed are designed so that children and young adults can access more movement and opportunity in their dance education. The video learning allows students to study the precision of movement, learn at their own pace and dance as often as they wish the mission behind the courses and digital portfolio was to make advanced education accessible at the price that most people,

0 (2m 18s):
What can afford nice. And where can they find you online?

1 (2m 24s):
They can definitely find me on my website

0 (2m 26s):
And we will put that link in the show notes. Absolutely great. So how’d you get into the arts as an academic pursuit?

1 (2m 35s):
Well, art education had a profound impact on the wellbeing of my life. Growing up. It allowed me to explore mental, physical, and emotional intelligence. And I believe there is nothing greater than the investment of exploring your own personal potential, which led me to becoming an educator and artist.

0 (2m 56s):
Awesome. Will you share with how your course works and the kind of lesson you provide?

1 (3m 4s):
Absolutely. So each course offers about 24 different videos of learning, which are broken down between the four choreography routines. Each about a minute in length, the genre offered is contemporary jazz fusion, musical theater. And in some of the courses that are more advanced contemporary points, each course comes with a warmup and mindful practices to attain a positive frame of mind and all while learning the four different lesson plans.

0 (3m 38s):
Okay. Will you please give us your definition of contemporary dance?

1 (3m 44s):
Oh, contemporary dance for me is very much a expression of authenticity. It is the language and the personality of the choreographer. So I believe contemporary really identifies with whatever emotion, the individual who created the work is feeling

0 (4m 8s):
Wonderful. Thank you. What’s your creative process like?

1 (4m 13s):
Oh, creative process. It varies based on the project though, as an educator, my process is to help the people recognize their own brilliance, believe in themselves and teach them about their infinite potential. As a choreographer. My process is to listen to your heart and I know that sounds cheesy, but truly wherever the passion is, you’re bound to tap into something brilliant and authentic. So I enjoy exploring those new pathways of movement and feeling limitless in my creative process.

0 (4m 48s):
Awesome. How else are you sharing this work? You told me a little bit about a blog and a book. Can you tell us those details?

1 (4m 58s):
Yeah. I brought a blog that just helps with breaking through mental barriers and persevering past certain limits of behavior that we’ve adopted and, or just don’t even realize that we’re in habitual pattern with. So I’m really big into persevering past any sort of thought process or ideas that limit tasks, because I think that we’re all infinitely brilliant and have a incredible amount of potential. If we give ourselves the chance or permission to learn about what we’re capable of. So definitely working on publishing a book in 2021 around that subject line and then working on producing more courses so that students can have more accessibility to the online course curricula.

1 (5m 54s):

0 (5m 56s):
How do you think your program makes your students feel?

1 (6m 1s):
Well, the program for me is, well, the program is the courses and the courses will help the students really identify with their personal self-worth and upholds a sense of ownership with advocating for their own creative processes. I believe that to create anything, we first must become it. So I think learning about your potential and capabilities is the foundation to a life of opportunity and success. So the courses will hopefully give each students the confidence to see their own or to create their own opportunity and to really work on investing in their own sense of self.

0 (6m 50s):
Great. What’s kind of the youngest age that you had in mind when you created these courses?

1 (6m 58s):
Well, for me, the courses are a combination of my former dancers and so I offer as young as seven years old. So the beginner intermediate courses are going to be great for any child with minimal dance experience and or adult with minimal dance experience. And they get to emulate to the dancers in the video that are of similar age though, have been curated and rehearsed to precision. So

0 (7m 32s):
Wonderful. So seven and up seven and a cool start six, seven. Sure. How does this work really reflect who you are as a person and as an artist?

1 (7m 53s):
Okay. Sorry. Can you ask that again?

0 (7m 56s):
How does this work reflect who you are as an artist? Whereas just as a person?

1 (8m 3s):
Yes. The work I’ve created is really exemplifies who I am based on one’s creative potential. I believe there’s no limitations in what one can produce or become and therefore the concepts and the mission behind the work is to really explore that vast amount of intellectual intelligence through the physical, mental, and emotional state. And then secondly, I think from a place of authenticity, I think it’s important to produce work. That’s never been either created before or ideas and concepts that are innovative.

1 (8m 47s):
So I guess those would be the two to really exemplify what the work, how the, I emulate who I am.

0 (8m 58s):
Wow. Right. So it’s like very self-expressive and, and reflective. Yeah. Cool. Is there, do you have like a motto for that?

1 (9m 14s):
I believe that in order to create anything in life, we first must become it. And so learning about your own creative potential and really listening to your own passionate pursuits, which I believe begin with noticing the change you wish to see in the world or what it is that you could do to create and contribute to the betterment of the world.

0 (9m 35s):
yeah. Awesome. Right on how do you define success?

1 (9m 42s):
Oh, success, success to me. So many things, but for one is a deep appreciation for who you are and how you can change what you wish to see in the world that we just spoke about, but mostly through your passionate

0 (9m 57s):
Pursuits. Very cool. How have you developed your yourself as a professional in 2020?

1 (10m 9s):
Well, organizing my digital portfolio was a big step for me and to make accessible to not only a local community, but a global community, which I am very grateful to have access to.

0 (10m 22s):
Right. And it is a beautiful portfolio. Oh, thank you. Yeah. It’s really, really breathtaking. Have you, have you gotten any connections from other places that, you know, have just kind of come out of the blue or do you, do you have a sense of that that reach happening?

1 (10m 42s):
Absolutely. I think the main focus for me right now is a lot of the students that are interested in the courses are really focused on maintaining the quality of their technique and physical stamina so that when COVID is passed, they can persevere back into their passionate pursuits as a, in a dance career. I’ve also noticed that private schools and charter schools are very interested in the coursework and influencing their students to take more art and form our artistic forms of expression for, I believe art is one of the most profound outlets when you can’t, when you’re going through what we’re going through in the world with these unprecedented times.

1 (11m 31s):
And so many restrictions finding a form of expression or being able to create is, is paramount to one’s health and wellness.

0 (11m 46s):
Amen. So where in the world are you okay?

1 (11m 51s):
I am in Tahoe, California.

0 (11m 55s):
Yeah. What’s it like there,

1 (11m 58s):
It’s like a magical Wonderland full of snow right now and it’s just the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived.

0 (12m 7s):
Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. It sounds lovely. But so what’s the dance situation there?

1 (12m 16s):
Not quite sure. I came up here to write my manuscript and get away from the crowds and just fell in love with the nature scape, but plan to dive deeper into the community and check out what’s going on here for sure.

0 (12m 30s):
Okay, cool. Yeah. Would you like to give any advice to parents who have these kids ages seven and up, and, you know, just from all of your experience, just seeing them as little artists that you might be able to share?

1 (12m 47s):
Definitely. I know. Well, I’ve owned two performing arts schools and worked in the industry for over 20 some years. And I guess for me, the one piece of advice would be to remember that no industry company, or even Trent could ever compromise the values and boundaries you set and uphold for the quality of your child’s life. So to just stay strong in what you believe in and for the wellbeing of your own child for you will always be their greatest teacher.

0 (13m 22s):
Yes. Yeah. How can people learn more from you?

1 (13m 27s):
Well, everything’s pretty much on my website and you guys can follow me on social feeds both on Instagram and Facebook.

0 (13m 37s):
And are you available for anything personal, like a private lesson or session?

1 (13m 43s):
Absolutely. I offer private sessions both from a group standpoint, like private zoom classes, private one-on-one training and coaching. And I do have the digital portfolio of choreography that I have available for people to look at if they’re interested in learning full routines.

0 (14m 4s):
Okay. So like if I was a school and I could browse your choreography and then you would set it on the students, is that what you’re saying?

1 (14m 12s):
Yeah. So, so with COVID and everything, a great way to prepare for the future and or whether it’s a digital performance and, or someday back in live person, the digital portfolio is seven, about 75 different routines that they can pick from in different genres. And then I will edit the video down so they can learn from the video, a full length routine, and then they can hire me or not to help clean and or offer a professional advice to prepare it for any sort of performance they’d like to put on.

0 (14m 50s):
Great. Yeah. I heard that Hollywood may be getting an exception, an exemption from the stay at home orders. Oh yeah. It was in the news a couple of days ago here and it was like, Oh, huh. I wonder if that will include dance in some way.

1 (15m 8s):
That would be wonderful. I think people really need a creative outlet.

0 (15m 12s):
Yeah. Dancing dancing seems to be almost the polar opposite of a staying at home, social distancing and wearing extra garments. You know, it’s like a lot.

1 (15m 24s):
Yeah. And the dancers are so expressive and we really feed off the energy of each other, a room, our atmosphere, we just really vibe off of life. And so being isolated and like you said, just having all these limitations can make us feel restricted, but there’s no need to feel that way. We can still pursue it. We love to do and prepare for the future. And just really remember that tomorrow is so much brighter than today. So

0 (15m 56s):
Yeah, you really are. I mean, you, you obviously have the right attitude about it. How maybe do you have any advice for like the logistics of that? Like how do you do that on a maybe day to day basis?

1 (16m 10s):
Well, I think everything comes down to how much self-worth self-love and really listening to what fuels your own needs and takes quality care of your own health and wellness. So for me, I know when I was younger, I danced a lot at home because I wasn’t always able to go to class every day, like the other children and just investing in my own self and giving myself permission to enjoy dancing, even when I wasn’t able to go to class was so liberating. And so I just want people to remember that today is not forever. And so we need to really think big picture about what tomorrow and the future looks like.

1 (16m 55s):
And if you love to dance, just keep your endurance and stamina strong by dancing at home and doing it for yourself because you love to move in your body and explore your own sense of creativity so that when classes get back into motion and we’re able to go back to performing, were we haven’t lost anything. We’ve only gained through this experience. Awesome. Yeah.

0 (17m 20s):
What is your practice for doing solos at home?

1 (17m 24s):
I think the daily commitment and whether you’re having a good day or did you feel like dancing or you don’t just commit to your goals, show up the daily rehearsal of life continues to go on. So, so should your practice and investment in yourself? So for a soloist, I say just persevere past the challenges. Believe you’re capable of doing it, practice, practice, practice, and notice the little victories, you know, notice the small triumphs. Yeah. Cool. Yeah.

0 (18m 1s):
What’s on your horizon.

1 (18m 3s):
Well, I’m going to finish a building. I have another about, Oh gosh. 150 courses that I’m finishing and yeah. A lot of courses. Oh, let’s see. There’s 24 courses and I’ve done three courses. So yeah. I mean, so I have about double that, that I’m finishing up and then I’m also publishing the book. So finishing up the book as well. Very cool. Yeah.

0 (18m 32s):
Oh, do you have a name for it yet?

1 (18m 36s):
That’s still top secret

0 (18m 37s):
The secret. Oh, okay. Do tell us when you know, we will be, we will be watching and seeing what Cassandra ream is up to. Yeah, for sure. Would you like to share some words of encouragement?

1 (18m 50s):
Oh, words of encouragement.

0 (18m 53s):
Words of encouragement. I’m already feeling very encouraged. Thank you.

1 (18m 57s):
I will continue to reiterate that the greatest investment any of us can make is to build a quality relationship with ourself. And that means exploring what you’re passionate about. Because I think through what we’re passionate about is where we discover our greatest sense of self to offer and contribute to the world.

0 (19m 18s):
Let’s close with this. What’s an activity you recommend that we do right now.

1 (19m 25s):
Well, I’m always so energized by the outdoors. So I highly recommend getting outside this morning. I took a walk in the snow storm and it just felt so wonderful. So get outside, breathe in fresh air. Remember that your greatest asset and just be grateful for all the good things that are happening in your life.

0 (19m 44s):
My guest today is Cassandra ream. Cassandra, thank you for being a part of dance talks.

1 (19m 49s):
Thank you so much, Andrea.

0 (19m 51s):
Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share our podcast and reach out to us on social media. If you’d like to talk to support dance docs, donate to dance. Houston, talk to you on Monday.