Conversation with High Riser: Dana Marieon
By Liz Lang.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live life on the go, literally? As in, a peripatetic. High Riser Dana Marie doesn’t wonder, she thrives on the peripatetic lifestyle! This professional dancer was born in Southern California and grew up in sunny South Florida, but moved around living in over 7 different homes before she was 18. During her high school years she went to board and study at the North Carolina School of the Arts with a focus on classical ballet. She currently resides in New York City, NY. Ms. Marie’s mother and grandmother had both danced professionally in New York, so she was inevitably introduced into the world of the performing arts. Daily training became a routine at a young age for her, she even did community theater productions with her mother and performed in story ballets with professional dancers. Ms. Marie told Rise Bar, “It’s been a topsy turvey journey that has taken me to boarding school, corporate life, cruise ship living and dancing, film and television, and novelty event staff jobs with celebrity attendance.”
“Dance is the most exciting way to experience being alive for me,” Dana says. “It’s an amazingly personal experience and why people say, ‘Dance like no one is watching!’ For me dance is an important element to the fabric of my being, like religion. It is a state where I can release analysis and intellectualizing, and just be my purest self—Bodies never lie.” Ms. Marie adds, “There’s nothing like moving to the music to get in touch with all my senses, explore my physicality and to release endorphins.” She finds herself most passionate about expression, exploration, communication, acquiring new knowledge, gaining perspective, challenging her past, and growing. After coffee, a good breakfast, and a destination (whether internal or external), she is motivated to start the day chasing after her goals.
Though learning and trying new things is a huge part of her lifestyle, she also plans to “hold onto the feeling that entertainment and storytelling is the best way to share information. I think that that's how humans evolved and that it's really important for us to maintain that so that we don't become too robotic in our ways. Right now I'm also working on my Pilates certification so that I can be of service to anyone.” When Ms. Marie isn’t mingling with the world of dance, her hobbies include physical exploratory things like yoga and peripatetic lifestyle, photography, graphic design, seeing and making art/design and learning new things, like French, creating meals/flavor combinations, watching cinema, conversation and communication, and drawing.
Nutritious food isn’t only about what tastes good, and Dana understands this well. She says, “Food is one of many pleasures in life and trying different things and learning about the biochemistry behind nutrition has helped me formulate the best methods for my own enjoyment, fuel, and well-being. I try to honor what my body intuitively knows, but it's been a lifelong practice. I'm really lucky to live in NYC where so many flavors are available anytime!” Her admitted guilty pleasures were not food related, like many others. Instead, Ms. Marie said she is known to be one who will watch back-to-back hour long series, like those on HBO or Showtime. She says, “I think the characters and story lines become more engrossing since they have so many episodes to develop vs. films where they have to capture a single unifying statement in a more shallow character arch.”
She’s incredibly fond of the experiences with the community theater in her hometown, where she choreographed musicals. “The thrill of creating a sequence of steps that originated in my mind, from inspiration listening to the score and studying the characters; then teaching it to dancers and seeing it performed; it's a really thrilling process and I hope to get to do it professionally here,” she expressed. Remember though, she also mentioned she relishes the nomadic lifestyle—an old nickname was even Dana “nomadic” Marie. She also told us, “NYC is really dense, and I haven't been moving around enough. I want to get back to my traveling roots.” To keep up with this High Riser, she invites everyone to email any questions and visit her website at www.danamarieonstage.wordpress.com.