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Damon Rago

What does life look like while on sabbatical?

Working on a pet project called MidLife Dance Project wherein I set works I choreographed in my 20’s and 30’s on dancers, including myself, that are all now over 50.  We intend to perform throughout the late summer and fall.

What is your favorite part about teaching at LMU Dance?

The people.  The students, staff and faculty at LMU are among the brightest, most inspiring, most loving and most passionate people I have ever known.  After 22 years, it remains the people I share my time with that I cherish the most.

What does your choreographic process entail?

These days, mostly looking back at a 30 year body of work and revisiting dances and seeing how they relate to the “maturing body” of dancers over 50.

Do you have any advice for students post-grad wanting to pursue dance?

When you are young and just getting started, if you find yourself needing to take a job or jobs, possibly even jobs outside of our field, in order to sustain yourself while you seek dance jobs and develop professional relationships within the field, remind yourself that while that non-dance job may not be your passion, it supports your pursuit of your passion. Therefore, apply the same drive and dedication to non-dance work as you do to dance, and it may not feel so unsavory to have to, say, work as a waiter until the dance jobs are enough to make ends meet.  As an alum and former faculty member of LMU Dance taught me, “There is your passion and there is your purpose, the purpose of some activities is to make the pursuit of your passion possible.”  In short apply yourself fully to everything you do, and you’ll arrive at your passion sooner than you think.

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