Fran + Pulse

Posted by Lauren

Hey there! I am really excited about today’s post because it might just be our first ever guest blog post! My bestie/ex-college-roommate, Fran, graciously accepted my begging offer to blog about her recent dance show.

(about two years ago in so cal for Kerry's bday)

Fran is an inspirational dancer. I’m always telling her to try out for So You Think You Can Dance! Hopefully one day she will listen ;) I hope you enjoy her post about last weekend’s dance show and her hectic dance schedule.

Premphoto (click for more!)

She is following her dreams, continuing to dance, all while maintaining a full-time job AND battling awful traffic. Mad respect!

p.s. to anybody reading: we welcome guest blog posts so please don’t hesitate to ask either Nicole or myself!


So I have been contemplating writing for Lauren as a guest blogger for about a year now. Partially I contemplated so long because of my laziness, but let’s just go with the excuse of I am not much of a writer, but a dancer. I was not quite sure as to what I could write for Lo, because she is so culturally versed in many ways, but then I decided to share about my way to stay in-shape (cause God knows I can’t run for days like these Olerich girls can).

Here I go…

So in order for me to keep sane with life, I usually go “dance it out” at Jimmie Defore Dance. Defore is an adult studio where I usually take jazz classes on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and sometime Saturdays. The classes I usually take are taught by either Leann or Mike. They are truly an inspiration and where I fell in love with dance all over again after college. But lately, besides just taking classes after work, I have been going to rehearsals after classes. These rehearsals are for the show we just finished here in Orange County called Pulse. It is an annual choreographer’s showcase through Defore.

Allow me to give a little explanation of how Pulse works. Basically, you are asked to be in each piece by the choreographer based on your style and what kind of piece they are putting together. Each rehearsal is based on when everyone can get together- meaning late nights. This year, I was asked to be in 3 numbers as well as perform a 4th piece for the company I am in, Fuse Modern Dance Company.

The first piece I was in was honored with opening the show. This was Leann’s piece, which consisted of an in your face, fierce, fast tempo-ed number called Catalyst. It was about 10 minutes long and the process for this was complicated since there were so many of us dancers and it was choreographed in a month and a half (keep in mind the holidays). Lots of time was put into rehearsals which were usually Tuesdays nights – after Leann’s class starting at like 10:45 pm – midnight-ish, Wednesdays after/during Mike’s Jazz 4 class starting at like 10pm-midnight, and some Thursdays. So you can imagine my caffeine addiction that developed during the past few months.

The second piece I was in was for jazz/contemporary with Kari. Her piece was about domestic violence and the hurt and pain a couple goes through. Hence her pick of the title “Before the Ever After”. We rehearsed for this piece on Thursdays starting at 10pm-11:30pm. Not as late as Leann’s rehearsals, but the only problem with that was a schedule conflict. I had Fuse Modern Dance Co rehearsals till 10:30 which took place at a studio 15 minutes away from Defore, where rehearsals for Pulse took place. I am sure you can see my panic and reasoning for having FOMO (similar to Lo’s Fear of Missing Out) every week with missing choreography and having to play catch up. Let’s just say that was Not.Fun.

The third piece I was in was choreographed by Sebastian. His piece was called “Regret”. Basically, it was about how you choose to take action through one pathway in life, but later regret your decision or wonder “what would/could have been if…” This was the hardest piece because we did the dance forward one way, then half way through the piece we “retrograded” the whole thing. Meaning we did all the movement/choreography from that one point backwards back to the beginning. Much like saying words forwards, then backwards. It was definitely a mind teaser and always left me frustrated, but also motivated me to work harder! Luckily this rehearsal took place on Sundays so I was more relaxed and I was not rushed from going from my full time job to class to rehearsal. I did have Fuse Modern Co class before in the morning, which I just took as a blessing so I could be warm for rehearsal.

The fourth piece for Pulse was for Fuse Modern Dance. The piece we performed was a sneak peek into our full length show on February 10-11 in LA at the Diavolo space. More info below if anyone is interested in coming!

Me and Sarah, who also dances in Fuse with me

1st off here is the Kickstarter link if anyone is interesting in donating to our program!

And yes, that is me in the picture!

2nd, here is the link for the show information! And yes, that is the same picture of me! Hehehe.

Overall, Pulse was a success! This year, there were around 15 pieces in the show all together making it about about 2 hours long – just long enough, but not too long! There was a lot of hard work, dedication, and love for dance to put this show together. It was DEFINITELY worth it and it was an honor to work with each choreographer in their style of dance. I wish there was a full length video to share, but please enjoy the backstage dressing room photos of some of the talented dancers I got to share the stage with, some after performance pictures, and a link to the Defore promotional video for Pulse. –> Here is the link for the sneak peek promo video

Friends who came to support! My parents and cousins from Santa Barbara also came to watch!

Some backstage fun!

Flowers from my cousins and some fellow dancer friends from the studio! So sweet.


I wish I could have been there last weekend, but it sounds like a great show. I’m going to throw it out to the comment section and ask which of Fran’s dance pieces you would either like to watch/dance along with!

Catalyst: a 10-minute, in your face, fierce, fast tempo-ed piece
Before the Ever After: a jazz/contemporary piece about domestic violence and the hurt and pain a couple goes through
Regret: a retrograde piece about actions we choose in life, regrets, and wondering “what would/could have been if…”

Based off her descriptions, I would pick Catalyst to dance and Before the Ever After to watch. The contemporary pieces are always so thought-provoking!


Comments (6)

  1. Kerry Mills

    EEEE I want to do a guest post now!

    My fave to watch was catalyst!

  2. foodsweatandbeers

    I’d love to have seen Before the Ever After. I work as a Crisis Line Advocate and Support Group Facilitator for a Domestic Violence prevention organization, and am always blown away by the art that DV inspires. So glad that Fran could help put the feelings and emotions into movement, it sounds beautiful.

  3. Nicole @Sugar Coated Sisters

    Fran, if you’re reading this, you’re making me miss dancing, boooooo :(

    I’d like to see all the dances of course, but if I had to choose……. probably Regrets. I often think about “what if” situations and would like to see the concept performed in dance form. If I had to dance one, probably Catalyst because dancing fast/fierce dances are always fun to perform.

    Thanks for posting, Fran!

    1. francescaalee

      Awww! You should go take class at Millennium or the Edge if you could ever make it over there! Regrets was a great concept and Catalyst was fun to perform and the lighting on the stage made it more interesting

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