Meet the 2015 Panama team: Daley Kappenman

Photo 3-1Daley Kappenman, Atlanta, GA

 Originally from Alabama, this is Daley's third adventure with Bluebird. She dances with the Proia Dance Project and teaches at several metro-Atlanta studios. Daley's been a vital player in our journey and we're honored to have her on the team.

Daley 1

What's currently playing on your iPod?  Shut Up and Dance! by Walk the Moon. 

Favorite role so far? My favorite piece I’ve ever performed was my senior solo of my undergraduate degree. It was choreographed on me by a friend and really became a personal offering.


What advice do you have for younger dancers? My advice to young dancers would be to absorb everything – be a sponge! Take your corrections seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. If you love dancing, enjoy it!

Craziest costume you had to wear? The craziest costume I’ve ever had to wear was a hula skirt around my knees to look like a broomstick! 

  "I started dancing because of how much I love it, but what will sustain me in it is not just that joy and challenge but how much can be said and done through dance."


Meet the 2015 Panama team: Jessica Guda

Bw5x7 079Jessica Guda, Atlanta, GA

This is Jessica's second project with Bluebird. You might recognize her from the Breaking Free video. She's danced with the Atlanta Ballet and spent a year at LINES. Currently she's finishing up her Bachelor's at Georgia State University and we're thrilled she chose to adventure with us instead of spending the summer abroad.



Why do you want to go to Panama with Bluebird: uncaged? Because it scares the crap out of me….Each part of this trip fulfills a different passion of mine that I have allowed to grow dormant because of fear.  This trip gives me an opportunity to embrace those passions.  


What advice do you have for younger dancers? Enjoy the feeling of dance.  Bring your true and vulnerable self to the studio every single day and learn to work with the person that you are in the mirror, not the one you wish was there.  When I approach dance holistically, I find that I become a better person


What’s currently playing on your iPod? Sylvan Esso


Favorite role danced so far? I have loved so many of the roles that I have been fortunate enough to perform in my career.  So far my favorite occurred last year, in John McFall’s world premiere Three.  I had the opportunity to join in the creative process more than I ever have.  In that piece, as one of the soloists, I was asked to perform my own role and to rehearse the role of the second soloist, a character that was the complete opposite of mine.  I loved the challenge that switching between roles gave me on and off the stage.


Craziest costume you had to wear? The craziest costume I have ever worn was a full on pig suit complete with a giant pig head that covered my entire head, hooves, and a fat suit.  Don’t forget the pointe shoes!


Most embarrassing moment onstage? I blanked on stage one time in my life, and it was bad.  Imagine the worst dance dream you’ve had and then multiply that by three.  I was on the Cobb Energy Centre stage performing a romantic duet when I totally spaced.  All choreography left my head completely.  I looked widely into my partner’s eyes (also my boyfriend at the time) to clue him in, and suddenly, because of that look, he forgot what he was doing too.  After a while of improvisation on both of our parts, I remembered that a big upside down lift came next.  I thought we locked eyes in full understanding, so went I for it.  Apparently he wasn’t ready.  So I fell; butt sky high and face to the ground.  Yeah, it was a mess.  To make matters worse, what did I do?  Stood up, ran my hands through my hair, and grunted at him. 


Meet the 2015 Panama team: Rachael Hulse

Rachael Hulse, 
Austin TX 

This is Rachael's third adventure with us to Panama. Originally from Kansas, she dances with Verge Dance Company and is involved with Dance Waterloo in Austin TX. 


what advice do you have for younger dancers? Work hard. Always. Even when you’re tired, especially when you don’t want to, those will be the most rewarding times. 

Be present. Always. Don’t allow yourself to tune out what you don’t want to hear, or you don’t think you need to hear. Information your teachers share always fall under two categories: Things to know, things to remember.

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what’s currently playing on your iPod? Amos Lee

favorite role danced so far? Scar, from the Lion King 🙂

craziest costume you had to wear? Ursula from the Little Mermaid. There was a huge octopus-looking headpiece, and a satin belt with 8 ft long pieces of fabric controlled by individual dancers. It was amazing. 🙂

most embarrassing moment onstage? My first jazz piece, there were only four of us, I was the youngest, and I definitely hit the deck during a turn, but bounced right back up and finished the piece!


"Dance is the way I communicate most genuinely, purely, and sincerely. I have always been rather shy, and very tall, and dance played a very integral part in my  growth as a person. It gave me confidence, and strength, physically and otherwise, and was the introduction to lives with an interactive, relational faith.


Meet the 2015 Panama team: Annabelle Dura


Annabelle Dura, Austin TX

We actually met Annabelle through instagram! After we reposted her photo, she asked how she could get involved. Annabelle organized a White Umbrella screening and discussion panel at Southwestern University and we're excited to have her dancing with us. 

Follow her on Twitter @annabelledura and Instagram @annasbanana123



what’s currently playing on your iPod? I fell in love with the song Trap Queen by Fetty Wap and recently learned some youtube choreo by Matt Steffanina to it and I love it!! I also really love jamming to T-Swift in the car. And my most recent addition to my itunes library is “Of the Night” by Bastill 


why do you dance? I've always had a dancing heart. I loved to move to music since I could walk. Dancing is an escape for me from everyday worries, stresses and struggles. I dance to get things off my mind but I also dance to celebrate. I celebrate life, accomplishments, and everyday joys through dance. More recently I used dance to work through things I couldn't do with words. And emotions I couldn't face in the real world. I was able to tell a story I could never tell any other way. 


what advice do you have for younger dancers? Never forget why you dance. It’s the passion a dancer has that makes her great, technique can be taught and learned, passion can’t.


craziest costume you had to wear? Well the ugliest thing I had to wear was for a college performance and we wore those white muscle tanks you buy at walmart for little boys, black jazz pants and jazz shoes and a makeshift clown bow ties attached my a safety pin. 

most embarrassing moment onstage? My last dance recital at my studio, I had a really REALLY quick , quick change and ended up running onstage and performing the whole dance with the wrong colored tights and my lyrical costume on backwards!