Power song: On The Floor
Run dedicated to: Leanne Schmidt
I met my friend Leanne years ago at Pacifico, a Mexican place in our Brooklyn neighborhood that’s responsible for roughly 84% of my life’s worst hangovers.
Pre-baby, Dave and I used to meet up with our dear friends Charlotte and Kyle every Friday night at Pacifico to get food, get toasted and get into in a sloppy, philosophical debate or play a bizarrely heated tournament of Buck Hunter.
At the time Leanne was a waitress there. We first took notice of her not for her friendly demeanor or lovely smile, but for her seemingly horrific mathematical skills: Somehow, at the end of an evening, a $100 worth of food and booze would mysteriously translate into a $20 check.
After the third or fourth time we dumb-dumbs finally caught on and started requesting her section (supplementing the $20 checks with $50 tips). And it was at that time, between monolithic pours of Jamesons and free pitchers of margaritas, that a genuine friendship was born.
We learned, in addition to being extremely generous with other people’s food stuffs, that Leanne was a dancer and choreographer and that she ran her own dance company. And one night, after many months of growing to adore her, Leanne invited us to one of her shows.
I am not going to lie: I was nervous. The show was in a small but lovely venue called Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Which, being a Manhattan-bred, Boerum Hill-dwelling New Yorker, seemed to me to be about as close and welcoming as Sing Sing.
But what really scared me was the performance. I thought, well, great. This show is going to be on par with the self-choreographed, one woman “ballet” my 5th grade math teacher once performed in front of us wearing nothing but an electric blue leotard and ripped pantyhose.
I didn’t like dance. I didn’t know a thing about dance. And, I thought to myself, I’ll be in a theater so intimate, I will have to look into Leanne’s eyes as she dances for me. And then I will have to see her after the show. And I will have to lie to her face about how good it was. Which she will see right through. Which will make it awkward between us. Which will mean we’ll have to stop going to Pacifico. Which will mean no more free hangovers. Great.
But here’s the surprise: The show was fantastic. I literally laughed and cried. Leanne’s choreography was smart and heartbreaking and hysterical, sometimes all at once. I never imagined that someone could teach me something about myself using movement, facial expressions and simulated (comedic) sex acts. Nor did I imagine ever meeting anyone for whom bravery and talent could flow so effortlessly.
The beauty of Leanne’s approach, and indeed the mission of her company, is to make dance accessible to everyone: expert or amateur. And in my case, cynic. So at the end of the show, rather than dodging her gaze, I found myself seeking it out. ‘Cause I now had a certified, full-blown girl-crush on her.
So to Leanne, I dedicate today’s run. Because she is premiering her latest masterpiece this evening and I can’t wait to see it this weekend (info and tickets details below!) And because, while I’ve been shaking my booty to change the world for a mere eight days, she has been shaking her booty and making the world a better place her entire life. She forges great things for herself and she’s fearless, perhaps to a fault. Because only someone fearless would give someone like me access to childhood pictures like this:
See you at the show.
Triskelion Arts Presents “The Ostrich’s Way of Dealing With Things is Hardly Productive“, Leanne Schmidt and Company’s sixth evening at Triskelion Arts offers a peculiar and unusual demonstration of how one might “bury their head in the sand” in order to avoid what inevitably needs to be addressed. Set to an epic soundtrack by Vivaldi and Chopin, collaborators Leanne Schmidt and Kimberly Goss poke fun at life’s mini-dramas and personal tragedies combining physicality, humor and honesty. The result is a journey that is rich in metaphor where the audience is bound to find candid similarities between themselves and the performers.
For tickets visit: