This past weekend saw the return of Cheryl Chaddick.
Cheryl taught a one-day, capacity-filled workshop to a room full of adoring adult students. The class included people who danced with her as long as 25 years ago and new people who discovered Cheryl by reputation. Even one her old roommates returned to take the workshop. The day ended with hugs, flowers and a five-minute ovation.
For 25 years, Cheryl Chaddick was the Artistic Director of her own respected and acclaimed San Francisco-based dance company, Company Chaddick, and for many of those years she was a mainstay on the Dance Center teaching roster. Her popular modern dance class incorporated a release style of movement that is both beautiful to watch and easier for bodies of all types to perform. But about eight years ago, family considerations and the call of her native Texas lured her back to Austin.
The Original Company Chaddick (l-r) Blane Ashby, Cheryl Chaddick, Jennifer Wright, Pete Litwinowicz
Since living in Austin, Cheryl has been on the forefront of the booming contemporary dance scene. She started a new dance company, Chaddick Dance Theater. “CDT has a much different feel than my San Francisco company,” Cheryl said. “The dancers are younger and less-experienced in Austin. They are still trying to get to know themselves as people. Their lack of life experience makes the work different. But it is still very exciting.” Chaddick Dance Theater had been headquartered in the studios used by Ballet Austin. However, Cheryl has built Austin’s newest rehearsal/performance space, slated to open on August 30, First Street Studios.
“Austin studios are generally small and spread throughout the city. I wanted a space to invite many different artists to come and learn from each other, like at LINES Dance Center.”
Cheryl’s history with the Dance Center and belief in our mission is why she chooses to return periodically. Most of her adult life of creating work and teaching is rooted at the Dance Center and her memories of her time here keeps drawing her back.
“If they’ll have me, I want to come back every year to hold a workshop and dance with the friends I’ve known and loved.”
We’d love to see Cheryl every year, too.