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Danceforce grad returns home to inspire young performers

Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 4:42 p.m. CST
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(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Joe Fields is returning to the town he grew up in, Bolingbrook, to join the Bolingbrook Park District's Danceforce staff teaching children a variety of dance genres. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com

BOLINGBROOK – New Danceforce Instructor Joe Fields is returning to his hometown, assuming a teaching role at the studio that he attended as a child.

Fields, 22, begins his first day as an instructor today at the Bolingbrook Park District’s Danceforce, an award-winning troupe that strives to empower youth through dance performance and leadership opportunities.

Teaching kindergartners through high school students who have spent the summer completing a training regimen, Fields and other Danceforce instructors will now combine elements of jazz, hip-hop, ballet, lyrical and tap, developing routines then participating in conventions, competitions, educational field trips and performance opportunities throughout the area.

For Fields – who attended Point Park University Conservatory of Fine Arts then spent two and a half years studying and performing with a dances groups in Los Angeles – returning to his home in Bolingbrook and coaching at the institute where he learned to dance seemed like a natural fit.

“Danceforce was a second home, it’s where I learned to dance and it’s where I developed a passion for art, movement and aesthetics,” Fields said. “This move just feels right. It means so much to come home and teach at the place where I was once a student.”

A former Danceforce student of eight years, Fields joined the program when he was in grade school, steadily honing his talent and ascending to Danceforce Senior Jamm Team dancer and sticking with the program throughout his four years at Nequa Valley High School.

In 2007, Fields was selected out of 3,500 dancers across the nation as the Urban Jamm well-rounded dancer of the year, earning a trip to Los Angeles for a professional photo shoot, meetings with talent agents, scholarship classes at L.A.’s premiere dance studios and the honor of being the “Face of Urban Jamm.”

Describing himself as an honest, easy-going free spirit, Fields says that Danceforce is still a huge part of his persona.

“Danceforce was a place that I was able to be myself,” Fields said. “It was where I felt the most at home, where I bonded with people and was able to be free. I could go there and let go of everything else that was bothering me. It was like my safe zone.”

While the Bolingbrook resident explains that he enjoyed living the Hollywood lifestyle in Los Angeles, he is happy to be home and eager to begin a new journey.

“During my next stint at Danceforce, I get to be on the other side of the teacher-student relationship,” Fields said. “I get to share my knowledge with other people and hopefully inspire children the way my teachers inspired me.”

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