Bettendorf native returns home to choreograph Ballet Quad-Cities
By: David Burke
Sunday, February 6th 2011
It’s been more than 10 years since Lynn Bowman Andrews was a student at the Ballet Quad-Cities school of dance, learning and performing throughout her middle school and high school years.
But coming back to Rock Island to choreograph Ballet Q-C in one portion of its “Love Songs” presentation next weekend has proven intimidating.
“You go through life and you keep reinventing yourself,” said the 29-year-old Bettendorf native, now living in Tuscaloosa, Ala. “I grew up here the longest, they know me and there’s kind of a sense of wanting to do good when you come home.
“Being physically here, I remember working so hard and seeing the older dancers and really wanting to ‘make it,’ ” she said. “And now I’m back.”
After graduating from Bettendorf High in 2000, she went to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater and dance. She moved to Washington, D.C., dancing for a small dance company. She applied for and received a fellowship that led to her master of fine arts degree in dance choreography at the University of Iowa.
She’s currently a dance instructor at a community college in Tuscaloosa, with interests in both modern dance and ballet. Her husband is finishing his master of fine arts degree in creative writing at Alabama.
Andrews said she enjoys the “delightfully creative challenge” of choreography.
“I just get so immersed in it while I’m there. Nothing else matters but being with the dancers and just making dances,” she said. “Besides dancing, making the dance is the best thing.”
Ballet Q-C executive director Joedy Cook invited Andrews to return and gave her only a few parameters: All 11 of the company dancers should be used, it should be a longer group piece and it should fit into the theme of “Love Stories.”
Andrews created a piece with the working title “Delicatessen,” where love finds workers who toil side by side.
“It’s merging my modern sensibilities but also my ballet upbringing,” she said. “It’s a little bit different.”
Andrews said she’s working in a way she prefers, in collaboration with the dancers.
“They really all kind of come up with an idea or a movement phase and I’ll watch them go through it,” she said.
There were a few familiar faces in the company when she returned. She grew up with fellow dancer Heidi Dunn in the Bettendorf schools and danced in classes with artistic director Courtney Lyon and ballet mistress Erica Atwood.
Andrews dreams of one day teaching more at the university level or of having a company all her own.
“It’d be great to have a group, but right now I can’t think of anything better than having great opportunities like this to travel and work and make art,” she said.