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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Kristin McQuaid & iamnotshane Find a Way to Make Dance Happen — From a Distance

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

The last two months have been challenging for the dance community with canceled tours, delayed productions and dance classes moving from the studio to Zoom. Yet it is Zoom that helped give birth to one project between artist iamnotshane and choreographer Kristin McQuaid. The project was conceived during quarantine when iamnotshane's label, Avant Garden Records, reached out to McQuaid to see if it was possible to shoot a music video with dancers for his new single, "Perfect" (Thomas Gold Remix).

More: Hot On The Red Carpet: The Premiere of Kristin McQuaid's "Florets" Dance Video "I said anything is possible if you put your mind to it," McQuaid told Dance Dish. "I had been on Zoom for weeks, holding classes and private lessons. I felt like I had a connection with dancers all over the world and I knew it was the best way to connect and all come together." With dancers dealing with the postponement of many of their tours and events, McQuaid was able to gather familiar faces from JoJo Siwa's tour, So You Think You Can Dance, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Backstreet Boys. Viewers will recognize Kayla Radomski, Ben Bigler, Hailee Payne and Ruby Pappan.

The group had two days of rehearsals via Zoom, and then the dancers, who were located all across the U.S., had to film themselves doing the movement. The footage was then sent to the director of photography and editor, Trent Barboza. For McQuaid, this new way of creating forced her to think outside the box when it came to her direction and choreography. "This, for sure, has been the hardest project I have done to date. I had to throw away all I knew and start fresh," she said. "We all are saying "The New Normal” and that is so relevant to the entertainment industry. We must adapt and pivot if we want to stay alive in this quickly changing world."

The creativity in "Perfect" shows how the entire industry needs to rethink its business model when social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in place. Production can happen, just in innovative and unorthodox ways. McQuaid believes this could push the dance community even further in their artistry. "I have been thinking about this more than ever now. I don’t believe quarantine and social distancing was all negative. I believe it was a rebirth for artists to stretch their brains and creativity in ways like never before," McQuaid shared. "The lessons I will take with me moving forward are, learning to adapt quickly, learning to have more patience, and knowing that no matter what the world throws at us, anything is possible."


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