Brandon Girouard and Ashley Becker serendipitously met behind the judges’ table at the dance competition, Encore Dance Competition for the Stars (DCS). They watched dancers, worked with students in master classes, and, based on their professional and educational experiences, identified a need for a higher benchmark of dance education in the intensive classroom. Brandon and Ashley longed to create and direct an experience that would evoke professionalism and prepare students for higher pursuits of dance excellence. They brought their thoughts to Encore DCS Owner/Artistic Director (and former studio owner), Rhonda Marchant, and the result is the new, collaborative (Q)uest Intensive, an in-studio educational experience that is custom tailored to your studio’s goals, desires, and needs.
(Q)uest Intensive’s mission is to provide each participating artist the ability to create, inspire, learn, and grow in an environment that is cultivated via leading names from various facets of the dance industry, including Broadway, commercial, film, casting, and concert dance. To motivate the (Q)uest, students spend 3-days in their home studio, attending a weekend intensive that features professionals in areas of dance, on-camera acting, voice, and theatre. In addition to growing artistically, participants are exposed to college preparatory advice, audition etiquette, and tips on building their brand and “landing the role”. Featuring a faculty roster of over 200 highly qualified and successful artists, (Q)uest has created a community that values showmanship as well as personal growth. The experience places the ultimate value on the young artist and his/her ability to achieve future success.
At the heart of (Q)uest are Brandon and Ashley’s infectious energy and personal brands, key attributes that uniquely engage and attract their audiences. Brandon and Ashley are both hard-working, passionate performers and choreographers, individuals, and, most importantly, dance educators. Their personalities are complimentary, and they are enthusiastic and excited to lead this form of in-studio dance education that aims to promote a more nurturing and loving culture in a very intimidating, sometimes overwhelming, industry. For more details on bringing (Q)uest to your studio, visit here.
In the midst of (Q)uest’s launch, Brandon & Ashley graciously took the time to complete our guest questionnaire.
Brandon Girouard- Founder/ Director
Full Name: Brandon Girouard
Where You Grew Up: New Bedford, MA
Favorite TV Show: Million Dollar Listing – Bravo
Currently on Your IPOD: Madonna – MDNA World Tour
Dance Inspirations: I’m inspired by those whose use dance as a vehicle to express and motivate. I worked with Tiffany Mills early in my undergraduate career and I realized that the beauty of dance is the exploration of bold physical vocabulary and vivid physical contact. Similar to a “hoofing” sensibility, Tiffany favors spacial syncopation and three-dimensionality. Her work is weird and captivating.
Memorable Dance/Career Moment: Gregory Hines – during the workshop of “Thanks Gregory!” – we were rehearsing a bridge section for the mid of the show and he stops the music. “Gentlemen.. you over there.. The secret to having it all, is already knowing you do. You got the gig. Show me how its done” I have been forever changed by that moment and wisdom.
Advice to Dance Studio Owners: The smallest most beautiful moments in movement exploration are the greatest answers to any dancer big or small. Competitive dance, like any other sport is an asset to their education: not the end all be all. Its important, more importantly mandatory, for those who are seeking a professional career to not only become masters of their craft, but pupils of knowledge. The difference between an ‘artist’ and a ‘dancer’ is the ability to understand far beyond the mirror. Take risks, perform bigger, become uncomfortable. That’s artistry.
Ashley Becker- Artistic Director
Full Name: Ashley Becker
Grew Up: From Buffalo, NY (specifically Clarence)
Favorite Show: Modern Family
Great Read: ALL the Harry Potter Books!
Currently on my IPOD: Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”
Dance Inspirations: I love the works of Twyla Tharp, Susan Stroman and Andy Blankenbuehler! I always aspired to be Elizabeth Parkinson! The person that inspires me the most, is my sister Allison Becker (deaf dancer who was featured on SYTYCD Season 6).
Memorable Dance/Career Moment: I was cast to stand in the background in a “wedding scene” of a movie. An hour into the filming, the choreographer walked through the crowd, grabbed my hand and gave me a featured part on the spot. He said “passion like yours, does not stand in the back of the room”…something I will never forget!
Advice to Studio Owners: Don’t sacrifice proper technical knowledge and classic stylings, just so you can be the “next big thing”.
Brandon and Ashley are ready to engage dancers across the country to create, grow, and achieve. Join them on this (Q)uest, a journey designed specifically for you and your dancers! Follow them via: