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Dance with Me

Author: Gabrielle Grace

Making Movement into Memories with Printique’s Love Letters event this February.

Featured image above: Spotlight Artist at Gibney Dance Arts Center.

I called Skyla one chilly November night while walking through Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York. I was admiring the twinkling lights of the city view when she picked up on the second ring.

“Well Hello!” She said in her always warm and cheery tone.

“Skyla! It has been way too long, how are you, my dear?” I sang back to her.

Skyla Schreter used to be a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, studied with the New York City Ballet, and now co-owns a Wellness Studio in Beacon, New York, with her husband. As you can probably tell, she is a very talented and creative person. As we spoke on the phone, I got to thinking, what if Printique did a spotlight on her story?

Three months later, we are sitting with the Printique creative team in Midtown at Gibney Dance Center, filming Skyla fill the space with movement.

The whole team was so transfixed by how beautiful her dancing was; at points, we almost forgot to film. So began the creation of Love Letters, a February campaign around creating with love and creating for loved ones, with unique crafts and talents like dancing, visual art, poetry, and photography.

We perched on a piano stool for our interview, light streaming in from all sides of the buildings on the 5th floor of Gibney Dance Studio. The architecture surrounding us was the essence of Love Letters itself—romantic, timeless, Victorian, and soft.

A Q and A with Dancer and Business Owner, Skyla Schreter:

Gigi: Q: “So Skyla, as our Spotlight Artist for the month of February, I wanted to ask you a bit about some of the prints next to you and how they emulate that feeling of love?”

Skyla: A: Holding up a Printique Hardcover Photo Album “Yes, so I had this gorgeous blue hardcover Photo Album created and dedicated to my mom. I think it is the perfect gift for her as someone who has supported my work my whole life and has been there every step of the way. I cannot wait to laugh and smile at some of the moments in here. I am so happy these images are finally on a real book instead of just a Facebook post or in a digital folder!”

Gigi: Q: “With Love Letters being the driving force behind this vision, how have you used the notion of Love Letters in your own work and creativity?”

Skyla: A: “My partner Aaron is a visual artist, and we love to create work that synthesizes with one another. We created an improvised live painting and dance performance at this event called the Beacon Bondfire that happens once a year in September in upstate New York. The event was named ‘Love is an Action,’ and I think it was the perfect concept that synergistically goes with Love Letters. This piece was a love letter to a crowd of people, reminding them that love is an expression that you must show daily.” *Holds up card with Skyla on one side, Aaron on the other*

Q: “What exactly is Lotus Works Gallery?”

A: “Lotus Works gallery is an arts and community wellness space that I founded with my husband, Aaron. We are both artists, so the mission of the space from its origin was to create a space that artists could gather, show their work and experiment with us. For us, we just wanted to create community and connection with wellness. The space features yoga, Pilates, Art Gallery Exhibitions, workshops, and the Gyrotonic method.”

Q: “When I came into Lotus Works you actually had a Gyrotonics session with me! Can you tell us a little bit about what that is?”

A: “Yes! The Gyrotonic method is a movement method that stimulates the nervous system, increases range of motion, and improves strength and movement efficiency. I am trained in Gyrotonics and teach 1 on 1 classes out of Lotus Works. Think of it as a combination between swimming, dance, yoga, and Pilates. It really helps if you carry tension or imbalance in certain parts of your body.”

Q: “In light of the theme, let’s talk about how Love comes into your dance practice.”

A: “Love is dance for me. Dance for me is all about connection. From connecting to myself to connecting to others while dancing, love is at the core of any true art form.”

Q: “What is love to you and how do you practice love every day?”

A: “Love has to do with being present and finding connection, so I practice love by being present for myself every day and making sure that I show love to others by being in the moment with them and finding a way to connect.”

Q: “Skyla, thank you again for sharing your beautiful practice with us and kicking off February  in the most beautiful way imaginable for Printique. Your dance practice is so beautiful, and your ideas and responses were so thoughtful. We are so happy to have you as the face of Love Letters.”

A: “This was so fun! Thank you to the whole team for making this into a reality.”

— Thank you to Gibney Dance Center, Skyla Schreter, and the creative team at Printique for making this photoshoot into a reality.

More about Skyla:

Skyla is a Professional Dancer & Choreographer, and Co-Founder of LotusWorks Wellness Studio. Not to mention our February Artist Spotlight for Printique’s Love Letters Event.

After her career dancing as a professional ballerina in San Francisco, Skyla moved back to New York to begin her own dance company and develop her choreographic voice as an artist. She has received prestigious commissions for her choreography and been recognized nationally for her dance films. As the artistic director of Skyla Schreter Dance, she has been awarded the NY State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Award for Choreography, and was selected for the NY State Choreographic Initiative Award. Skyla co-founded LotusWorks, a community arts and wellness space in Beacon, NY, which supports local artists and provides a space for the community where art and wellness meet. Skyla is also a professor of dance at Vassar College.