An Exciting Week of YoungArts Activities

Dancer Shares Enthusiasm For Collaboration

Cameron Basden

Brandon Chang.


Brandon Chang.

Magic City audiences will have an opportunity to see what the multi-talented winners of the YoungArts competition will present at the YoungArts campus and Miami Beach's Colony Theater in an awe inspiring week of performances and exhibitions organized by the National YoungArts Foundation.

Each year, YoungArts Week (held also in New York and Los Angeles) engages winners to network with their peers, work with professionals, spend the day in rehearsals and in collaboration and, ultimately, to present a fully produced show. The four events will include showings by visual artists, musicians, photographers, writers, cinematic artists, actors, dancers and singers. If that isn’t enough, the students and directors will create this magic in only one week.

One of the participating dancers is Brandon Chang, a senior from Coral Reef High School. He will be spending an exhausting and thrilling week in preparation for the weekend performance at the Colony Theater. A Miami native, Chang, has studied dance of all forms and styles for eleven years. He participated in the YoungArts Week last year and after that eye-opening initiation, is looking forward to seeing some of the artists he met then and making new friends.

Chang recalls, “Last year, I was nervous going into this week. Meeting new people, not knowing exactly how it would work. As the week went on, it was so cool watching all of the other artists and collaborating with them. Having been a dancer all my life, I learned to really appreciate and respect the other art forms. I’m looking forward to seeing many of my colleagues that I usually never get to see.”

There is a theme that is decided for the theater, voice music, and dance performance that Chang will perform in. While last year’s theme was more casual, allowing the audience to see what goes into a performance, this year’s theme will be shared at the beginning of the rehearsal period. The day is a long one in preparation.

There are four or five hours of rehearsals early in the morning and then after lunch, the artists return for more rehearsals late into the evenings. The dancers work with the other art forms to create a collaborative and seamless performance. Chang enjoys the spirit and the respect that each art form shares. To make the process smoother and more focused, the artists are staying in a hotel so they can be taken to and from rehearsals all at one time. Directors and coaches are YoungArts alumni who are flown in from around the globe to organize, challenge, instruct and lead the student/artists through their paces. This year, the two directors are Jen Waldman and Miami native, Yara Travieso, each focusing on one of the performances. In the evenings, students are given the rare opportunity to see performances of the other art forms.

Chang feels strongly about being a leader in his life and in his art. This week is wonderful preparation for that. He wants to be an example to others, to show them how the hard work and discipline pays off.

“This is a really hard week, but it is a lot of fun,” Chang says. After having one year down, the excitement and enthusiasm are infectious.


  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2016:  Visual Arts + Photography Exhibition.
  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2016:  Jazz performance + Writer’s Reading + Cinematic Arts Screening.
    YoungArts Campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami 33137.  Thursday performances are free with required RSVP.
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11, 2016 Theater, Voice, Dance and Music Perfor-mance, Directed by Jen Waldman. Admission: $15* or $10 for YoungArts members and alumni. To purchase tickets, click here.
  • 8 p.m.Saturday, March 12, 2016 Theater, Voice, Dance and Music Perfor-mance, Directed by Yara Travieso. 
    Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 33139
    Admission: $15* or $10 for YoungArts members and alumni. To purchase tickets, click here

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