From the Editor: Just for Kicks

inRegister Editor Kelli Bozeman. Photo by Jordan Hefler.

“You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying … in sweat.” 

This classic line by Debbie Allen’s dance teacher character on the 1980s TV show Fame is still seared into my brain, from back when my 8-year-old self used to sit way too close to the TV and soak in every minute. 

Dance was everywhere in pop culture during the ’80s, and though I wasn’t enrolled in the big three of jazz-tap-ballet like many of my friends, I couldn’t get enough. Flashdance, Footloose and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun played on repeat as I mimicked their moves. Breakdancing brought down the house at my middle school, as boys did backspins on cardboard and all the kids crowded around and cheered. And don’t even get me started on Dirty Dancing, which had every 13-year-old girl dreaming of a summer in the Catskills and a lift in a lake. 

In the same year that Johnny was teaching Baby the cha-cha, Lisa Hooks Murray was bringing modern dance to Baton Rouge through a new organization called In the Company of Dancers. The group later merged with Garland Goodwin Wilson’s arts organization Of Moving Colors Productions and broadened its focus to include dance, theater, live music and the visual arts. “We want to bring artists together,” Wilson told The Advocate in 1998 after returning to her hometown of Baton Rouge from stints dancing and choreographing around the world. “I think this will offer a new depth of meaning and inspire people to cross borders of difference.”

Of Moving Colors caps off its 35th-anniversary season this spring with a contemporary dance interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Othello, and three members of the company offered inRegister a sneak peek during a photo shoot at the River Center Branch Library on March 4. It was just one of the 16 stops on a whirlwind tour of cultural happenings around town as part of our fifth “A Day in the Life of the Arts” cover story. We sent a team of four talented photographers—artists in their own right!—out to a ballet studio and a bread-making class, an art gallery and a black box theater, and many other unexpected locations to tell this year’s story of some of the many creative individuals and organizations that abound in Baton Rouge. 

As Wilson promised, the arts are indeed helping to make vibrant connections in our community, bringing people together like few other activities could. We’re proud to be part of highlighting these collaborations each year. Curtains up!