Sunday, January 30, 2022

Alumni Spotlight on Laurel Moore Zahrobsky


Laurel Moore Zahrobsky

Director of Terpsichord, Dance Teacher/Girls Preparatory School Chattanooga, TN

What years did you work with The Dance COLEctive? 


1995-2000 (I think. Or maybe 2001?) We met when I was part of the Columbia College Summer Dance Intensive. She selected me for her piece. After that, I was contracted per show before she formally began The Dance COLEctive. When she started the company, I was a founding member.


Laurel with Julie Tice Photo by William Frederking


Any favorite TDC Memories? 

Loads of fun memories Rehearsals that felt like they lasted 15 minutes because we were having so much fun, road trips for performances, cocktail hours in our down time, birthday parties, and life changing moments we all got through together just to name a few. I loved partnering with Margi. When we danced together it was like dancing with an extension of myself.

On-Stage or Site-Specific Performance? 


There were so many performance opportunities that Margi provided us. Some of my favorites were the site-specific ones. She bought pallets of grass for a street performance we did on the south side. That was a very surreal performance for me because it was tied into the history of the houses where we were dancing. I love that kind of stuff! Mixing art and history and bringing it to a present day audience. So exhilarating! We also had a blast performing at the Illinois State Fair. It was hilarious to dance in front of crowds who had no idea what modern dance was. The tractor pull line was my favorite. And then there were people who loved it when we danced in the art gallery at the fair. That was really neat. We wore matching shirts, red bikers and tennis shoes. It was a ton of fun. 


At the Illinois State Fair dancing everywhere that was not a stage.

For about three years in a row, we spent New Year's Eve in Springfield as part of their First Night performance. It was a lot of fun performing and then ringing in the New Year with the company. Lots of laughs during those evenings!


We performed everywhere from the Athenaeum to Columbia College to the MCA and every time we finished, she would have already started working on another show. Margi always worked really hard to make sure we could share her work and be seen in every venue possible.

Trembling in the Balance at the Athenaeum Theater with Amy, Ebony, Margi and Edna 1999

What are you doing now? 


I am the Director of a dance program at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN. Even though we are not a performing arts school, dance is a huge part of the curriculum for students. Our high school company is one of the longest-running in the nation. It began in 1960. I am only the third director in the school's dance program.

Where can we find more information about you? 


There are some articles written about me through GPS but I don't have a website or anything like that. You can check out my school profile here.

Do you use any Margi-ism’s?


Rock star parking is still one of my favorites to say. And I also use spackle (makeup). I'm sure I use more but they are so engrained in my vocabulary I don't even notice anymore. However, no one says a Margi-ism like Margi!


Memory from Margi 


I met Laurel in 1995 when I did a mentoring project in the summer program at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. We just seemed to hit it off. I remember being struck by her fearless physicality and her sense of humor! She was always willing to make bold choices and have fun. We also had the south in common. Laurel and her family have been loving and gracious hosts to me and the company. When Laurel had the chance to move back to Chattanooga and teach I was truly sad to see her go. I also knew that it was the best thing for her and her growing family.  AND, I knew that she was going to do an amazing job! Lucky for me, she has remained a dear and valued friend. I am so proud of the work that she does at GPS and one of my proudest moments was seeing her receive the Tennessee Association of Dance Outstanding Dance Educator Award in 2014. Dang, I am getting misty... Thank you for helping to lay the groundwork for future dancers to be fearless and make bold choices!


Me and Laurel Summer 2021

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