Featured Dancer - Zathrus Beeler
For those who absolutely must dance
We love featuring dancers from the Lakeway area to show how colorful and talented our community is. Check out this fun interview with local artist, Zathrus.
1. How long have you been dancing?
The first time I actually did any kind of dance was in middle school show choir, and that’s when the dream started to come to life. My more “rigorous” dance started whenever I became more myself my sophomore year of high school and joined the marching band colorguard. From that point I started self teaching until I got into college where I actually took my first for real dance class! So if we are talking about official training here I’ve only been dancing for three years!
2. What are your favorite styles?
I love and appreciate all styles of dance but modern or hip-hop are the ones I find in my mind the most. When you're doing modern dance there’s something so loose and free about your mind and body, as opposed to hip-hop where are you're engaged and confidently sharp.
3. What inspires you most?
The thing that inspires me the most is creating a better world for the up-and-coming generation. I hope that when people look at me and see the way I live and the energy I give off, they find inspiration as well. I’m blessed to be a Color Guard Coach at high school where I get to work with kids that are in the same position I was. I could go on and on and on about high school and all the lessons you learn and things that it puts you through, but that’s the beauty of it. I get to teach kids in that moment how to better themselves, continue their lives, and do their best at what they want to excel in. I like to think that I’m kind of a life coach when it comes to that too! .
4. What other hobbies and interests do you have?
Outside of dance I love to still stay in the arts world and be creating. I love to sing and act. I enjoy competitive cheerleading and tumbling. I’m also obsessed with colorguard and spinning anything I can find, as well as acrobatic work. Now outside of the arts I enjoy psychology work and scientific discovery, as well as crime cases and cold cases. But, of course I love my friends and family spending time with them, traveling, discovering the stuff in this world, and just overall experience.
5. Tell us about your experience on stage in musicals! What does an average day look like during the rehearsal process for a dance heavy show?
An average day doesn’t exist! Since A Chorus Line I have been getting up earlier and basically giving myself dance classes in my house to prepare myself for the show and whatever they throw at me. With a show like this it could be anything. After that I try to clean up, do whatever I need to keep myself in mind, and prepare for rehearsals that night. Your life basically becomes the show! Because of where I live it’s quite a drive to get to rehearsal, so I always have to be mindful of that. Going to rehearsal I try to stay focused get what I need done and help out and encourage in anyway possible. Also, throw a little messy around and have a little fun in there. After that we see each other off for the night and I’m off for my “long” drive home for some dinner, relaxing, and bed!
The experience of being on stage is literally a high. Everything is working and pumping in your body, and your mind is running a million miles a minute... so fast that you don’t even know you’re thinking about anything. It’s also the best experience because you know it’s all for the show. Everyone has a common goal to produce something great and spread the message of whatever is being shown. You, along with your show family, have the opportunity to take the audience on what can feel like a roller coaster ride. We get to share the experience of emotion with each other.
6. What are you hoping to do with dance? Do you want to be a professional performer or teach, or are you interested in a less dance centric future?
To be honest, the future of my career is still up for debate. I know I want to stay involved in performing and teaching young performers. Where and how is my big question. I’ve gotten into being a freelance coach/performer and for now it’s working, so I’m rolling with that until the world tells me otherwise. I think my biggest goal at the moment is just making what I have bigger and better.
7. Every artist starts somewhere, what inspired you to begin dance?
I started like most kids, just in a state of trance from what watching dance does to your mind and soul. I have learned so much from my beginning to now, but I honestly feel blessed that my eyes were open to all the possibilities of what being a dancer is. I started just wanting to be like other people and to be like the dancers I looked up to, wanting to look like them and be like them, literally invading their life. It also created this game of fitting in and trying to be the best. But, getting more involved in learning what dance really is over my years of work is what keeps me going and keeps me striving. It really isn’t about anyone or anything. It’s about you. That’s what so great about dance, because it’s the most selfish but unselfish thing I have found in my life so far. There’s so much self progression and self understanding that you have to go through. It builds and molds the human being. There’s so much time, hardship, dedication, perseverance, and true soul-searching. There's a comfort with the human you are that comes from becoming a dancer.
8. Any advice for new dancers?
This is your life. This is your happiness. You have to do what keeps you happy, and if it’s dance, be prepared but know it’s worth it. Keep going, keep doing you, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. There’s so many ways people can tear you down, but it’s not about any of that. It’s about what you’re creating inside of yourself and showing to the world. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and positive people. Without the people that I have come in contact over my time, I would not be the person that I am today. My list is endless. Find people that will help. You can’t be scared to ask. What can I say? That’s part of the process of becoming a dancer! It’s OK to be scared and uncomfortable and outside of your box. Learn from it, and your box is going to get so much bigger.
All images copyright Ashley Lodge Photography