Michael O'Neal Jr. dancing as a featured performer at Town Hall's major event of the year: Talk of the Town Underground. Alan Alabastro photos.
By Gabrielle Gainor There's a joke in Cheryl Delostrino's dance, "Shatter," for RDC3. Cheryl always says in rehearsal that Mike should just come live at my house to ensure that I am constantly entertained. Frankly, if Mike did come and live with my husband and I, I am sure we would always be cracking up -- because that's pretty much how the entire rehearsal process for Cheryl's piece went. Mike is hilarious and a non-stop force of energy and b-boy improvs (I agree that the monkey is his spirit animal). In a world of big egos and high emotions such as dance, it's so refreshing to work with someone like Mike. Not only is he doing exciting things in dance (like crossing genres in his work with Amy O'Neal--striding the line between modern and breakdancing), he's also humble, generous and collaborative. Granted, while I say this about Mike, a UW senior majoring in dance, I could say this about all of our Huskies or recent UW graduates in Cheryl's piece: Hallie Scott, Austin Nguyen, Becca Smith and of course our amazing choreographer, Cheryl! (My RDC co-founder Jasmine Morgan, is also in the piece). Relay Dance Collective is about building community among diversely expressive, innovative and high-caliber artists. Being able to work with Mike and this crew are helping us to fullfil thatdream. We will no doubt be there to support them in the exciting projects that they have planned, and the work that they will continue to find in the arts.
See Michael dance in a new work by Cheryl Delostrinos called "Shatter" in Relay Dance Collective's next show, RDC3, April 3-5, 2015 at Velocity Dance Center.
Proudest accomplishment as an artist: Premiering Amy O'Neal's "Opposing Forces" in Seattle, and being in a piece that is about more than just dance, but about a whole culture that is misunderstood, and helping people to understand it more.
Most humbling moment as an artist: Any time that I teach a class. There is learning both ways from the student and the teacher. As the teacher, and as a person in general, I love to see growth in others. Teaching gives me that constantly.
What's your spirit animal? A tiger or a monkey. Probably more of a monkey.
What's your guilty pleasure? Watching the TV show Friends on the 10-season DVD (I am a Chandler).
If you were a cartoon from any animated movie, you'd be: This question is impossible due to my nerdiness of animated films, and I have put way too much time into thinking this over. For the sake of this, I shall say Shaggy from Scooby Doo so I can just always be around food and make combinations of them all day.
If you were a color, you'd be: Gray, mixed, for the win.
Three things in life you love are: Music. Positivity. Food
What's next for you? Graduating from UW with my dance degree, and finding a job (hopefully dance-related lol). __________________________________________________ RDC3 7:30 p.m., April 3-5, 2015 Velocity Dance Center 1621 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 Contemporary, Seattle-based dance company Relay Dance Collective presents "RDC3," an evening of vibrant, powerful and diverse dances. is happening April 3-5 at Velocity Dance Center featuring a special guest performance by ARC Dance Company.