As featured in the February 24, 2020 DanceBlast, here's Holly's story plus a preview of A Chorus Line at Seacoast Repertory in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
A DANCER'S DREAM: PLAYING CASSIE IN A CHORUS LINE
Holly Dayton shares her story how she booked her dream role in A Chorus Line:
It has been a dream of mine to perform in A Chorus Line for quite some time. What does it mean to make yourself vulnerable and share your story with the world? What does it look like to be a part of an ensemble in a show, a part of a bigger picture? I originally had the privilege to learn “One” from Baayork Lee in Las Vegas during rehearsals for Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers a few years back. What an incredible experience it was! Baayork taught me how to tell a story with passion, and most importantly, how to get out of my own way. She greatly changed the way I approach learning and performing. Ever since learning the iconic number from her legendary self, I have yearned to be a part of the beautiful story.
While on tour this past winter, Bryan Knowlton, an incredible director and choreographer and dear friend of mine, gave me the opportunity to submit to play Cassie in A Chorus Line at Seacoast Repertory in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Bryan starred on Broadway as Paul in the 2006 Revival of A Chorus Line. He is a human being so full of passion and light, who cares so deeply about the work he creates and the growth he fosters. I will be completely transparent and admit I was initially intimidated taking on submitting for such an incredibly challenging and iconic role. Yet, I took the leap and stepped out in faith. A submission tape and a few days later, I received word from Bryan that I had landed the role. I cried tears of joy, listening to his encouraging and enthusiastic voicemail. I was gonna play Cassie.
We are now in our third week of rehearsals at the Repertory and my heart could not be more full. Diving into the role of Cassie, has been life changing. She is a character that has so much depth, strength and persistence. I share so much of her story. I recently turned 32 this past week, the same age she was depicted as. I went through a deep heart ache this past year mirroring her evolution from past relationships. I have moved from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York sharing in her journey to travel and explore dance in different markets. She has this poise and a calm to her. She is a leader in the way she conducts herself professionally. And she truly loves to dance; it is the moment that she becomes the most alive. At times, it feels that I am her. That she is me. That I am playing my whole self in this production. And Bryan has so much clarity and intention as he is directing and choreographing this incredible production. He accepts me where I am and creates with such a passion and ferocity. He is truly pushing me to my limit and facilitating me to experience an exponential amount of growth. I am humbled and grateful for Bryan and the artistic directors, Ben and Brandon, for believing in me and trusting me with this incredible story.
Never give up on your dreams. Believe that you are worthy of taking up all the space. Believe that you are deserving of being in the spotlight. And never be afraid to open up your heart, make yourself vulnerable and share your own story.
Tickets are now available at www.seacoastrep.org/chorus-line.
Here is Holly's Answers4Dancers profile:
Holly is a passionate artist who has dedicated her life to her talents in the entertainment industry. She has performed for several recording artists, dance companies and cruise lines, in music videos, production shows, tours and live television. She has choreographed for several dance companies and teams across the nation. She believes in living each day to its fullest. She lives and breathes her passions.