We have a great line up of dance camps at Prairie School of Dance this summer! One of those camps is a jazz intensive for dancers in the Performing Arts division. Students will take technique classes that will challenge them to grow in jazz as well as learn an Eclectic Edge Ensemble (EEE) dance created specifically for them. In addition, they will participate in discussion classes that will cover elements of jazz history, dance audition preparation, kinesiology and body care. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions of professional dancers about their dance journey. On the final day of class, students will perform for family, friends and peers as well enjoy a performance by the EEE dancers. Sign up now!
Karis Sloss, (photo right) owner of Eclectic Edge Ensemble (EEE), shares both a passion for dance and we’re grateful she’s willing to share her talents with PSOD this summer! Get to know Karis by tuning into our Q&A:
How long have you been dancing?
I started dancing when I was 2 ½ years old with my Nana and Papo. They were professional Vaudeville dancers and my Nana wanted to get me into class as soon as she could. Even when they moved to Florida my Nana kept a close eye on my dance education, and wanted to make sure I was receiving the best! She stressed how ballet was the foundation of all dance forms, so I spent a few years studying ballet exclusively. Then I started taking jazz and I my passion for dance grew and grew. Now I feel like I have blinked, 30 years have gone by and now I teach dance full-time, choreograph and run my professional dance company. Pretty amazing!
What was the reason you started EEE?
I became serious about dance pretty early on. Growing up I used to set-up all of my stuffed animals, push my parents’ furniture out of the way and put on weekly shows. I would write out programs in crayons, and design a new show each week. I would watch old musicals on channel 2, or Jack Cole and Busby Berkeley movies. I knew that some day I wanted to have my own company and to be a choreographer. When I was 19 I produced my first show at The University of MN Saint Paul Student Center, and now I have produced at least one show a year since.
I went to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. I started off as a BFA Dance Major, but my passion for theatre grew while I was at school so I doubled majored with a BA in Dance and Theatre Arts. I gained a ton of experience and opportunities while I was at U of MN. I tried to take advantage of everything I could, which created quite a busy schedule, but a good preparation for the life of an artist. After I graduated I started my dance company Eclectic Edge Ensemble. At first it was friends of mine that made up the company. Then after a few years I started holding auditions for EEE and now have such an incredible group of dancers! I am very blessed.
What is the goal of EEE?
This past year has been an epic year for Eclectic Edge Ensemble. We are now producing two shows a season. We also started our Outreach and Residency Program, which has been a huge goal for EEE to work with students of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels. Eclectic Edge Ensemble has also been honored to collaborate with many talented composers, musicians, choreographers, designers and theatre artists. I hope to continue to work on growing all of EEE’s programs and have the company become a full-time professional company within the next couple of years.
What is one piece of advice you have for young dancers?
Keep your dreams and goals clear in your mind. Focus and smile upon them, and know that they will all come true. It comes with hard work, sweat and time, but man is it worth it! Be grateful for what you have and keep dreaming bigger!
For more information on Eclectic Edge Ensemble check out their website!