|by Thomas Palmer|
Meet Leigh LijoiMember of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, lover of parks and chocolate
What is your first memory of performing?
My first memory of performing was my first dance recital at the age of 5. I was terrified to go on stage and cried the entire day leading up to the performance. I was a really shy kid growing up (until I got to know you), so the thought of going on stage in front of a lot of strangers was terrifying. My parents were really supportive and encouraged me to do this one performance so that I didn't let the other girls in the class down. Needless to say, once I got on stage, I had so much fun and didn't want the performance to end. I stopped crying immediately, and from that day on, I was set on being a dancer.
What is your favorite snack?
Chocolate. No question. A little piece of dark chocolate makes the day so much better.
What song is most played on your iPod?
Picking just one song is hard because my iPod gets so much use, but currently I've returned to listening to a lot of my favorites: Iron and Wine, Postal Service, James Vincent McMorrow, Ray LaMontagne, Dave Matthews...and the list goes on.
Where do you go/what do you do in New York when you have a day off?
If the weather is nice, I love to get lost in Central Park. There is no better escape from the craziness of the city then being right in the middle of it surrounded by so much peace. I also really love spending time walking along the water, reading a good book, or taking some time to journal. Otherwise, if I find myself with some extra time in my day, I like to put my head phones in and just walk to wherever I need to go, no matter how far it is. There is something really interesting about being closed off in my own world with my headphones and a good song, while also being able to see and experience so much around me.
Do you have any quotes/ words that you live by?
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
"Everything happens for a reason."- I've learned that sometimes the opportunities that present themselves in life may not always be what I think MY ideal is at the time, but end up being exactly what I need to be doing and where I need to be spending my time. I think the key for me is remembering to be open and receptive to what comes my way.
What is your favorite thing about PCDC?
I love that each dancer in the company brings their own personality and style of dance. No two dancers are alike, and I think that creates a really unique experience in the studio. The creativity is present, the love for dance is abundant, and most importantly, we all have fun spending time together and creating new work.
What are you most excited for with PCDC this summer?
We are all so excited to be leaving for Italy and Israel this weekend! The opportunity to dance as a part of these festivals while representing PCDC is truly an honor.
See the full PCDC summer schedule!