Thursday, April 24, 2014

Travelling with Propeller

Moni about to go on her first train ride
By Linda Hoffman

On the road with the Propeller Dance Company has been an honour as well as an immense learning experience. Three words reflect the most recent trip to the inner-city of Toronto in a nutshell – the unexpected, the community, and the professionalism.

Unexpected: “Do we walk or wait?” This was the question as Renata, Moni, and Mom stood on the corner of Front and Bay streets waiting for the prescheduled Wheel Trans bus! As the minutes ticked by into over an hour, we took the plunge. Visually impaired Mom hung on to Renata and the power wheelchair tagged along behind the rolling suitcases. What a wonderful sight to see our stage manager/support worker Sion, and Bob - Dad to one of the dancers - waving at us from down the street. They had come to meet us and take our luggage!

Next on the list of unexpected was the wheelchair inaccessible “accessible room!” Again, the Propeller family came to the rescue, hauling out the furniture of the newly assigned room so the chair could gain some access. What a team!

Community: This word is used a lot, but during Propeller’s road trip to Toronto I constantly saw it in action. As one of our team members was hospitalized just prior to the road trip the community of Propeller came to the forefront. Roles were changed, people stood up to the challenge, and the impossible was accomplished. This truly is a group that pulls together as a cohesive family.

Professionalism: The Tangled Arts Festival’s Kidsfest was the event to which Propeller had been invited as one of three selected artists April 9th and 10th. In the heart of Toronto’s downtown, bus loads of kids were brought to the newly built and totally accessible Daniel Spectrum Cultural Centre’s theatre. Propeller performed magnificently. You would never know looking at the ease and beauty of the dancing on stage, the kind of craziness that went on beforehand. That is in essence being a professional.

Linda Hoffman is the mother of Propeller Dance's Performing Group member, Moni Hoffman, and accompanied the troupe on their trip earlier this month to the Tangled Arts Festival's Kids Fest in Toronto.