Victorious Dance Company

by Tonya Dixon | March 8th, 2012
Ravin Gore

Ravin Gore (Photo by Howard Gaither)

By her own admission, Ravin Gore is not the ideal picture of a classic ballerina, tap or jazz dancer. Truth be told any naysayers and critics would be correct. She isn’t the “ideal” or typical dancer. Her interpretations of the various forms of dance have elevated her past the “typical” stage years ago. Is she atypical because of her height? Maybe, most ballerinas are on average 5’10. Gore falls significantly short (no pun intended) in that area. Does she employ a certain style seldom utilized? Could be. Has she studied under the most talented and successful in the industry? That depends upon ones definition of the terms. To sum it up, Gore’s understanding and implementation of the elements of ballet, tap, jazz, and yes, hip hop, infuse together to produce a solid performance of fluidity, grace and power.

Ravin Gore believes that she was created to dance. “Dance has always been a part of who I am,” she says. “I consider it a gift from God. I’ve always been an expressive person. Dancing is how I speak to people who don’t understand my words.” The Brunswick County, N.C. native has been dancing since as far back as she can remember. As a matter of fact she says she really can’t remember life before dance. “My parents said I came out dancing. I started dancing at five years old and I remember taking pictures in my tap outfit and falling in love,” she recalls. “My first classes were at Wanda’s School of Dance in Whiteville, NC and I always wanted to be in the mirror. Not much has changed today. I am still most comfortable in front of a mirror and a dance bar.”

Gore still loves to dance and, as she humbly admits, is an amazing dancer. Her generous self assessment isn’t unfounded nor does it come from a place of arrogance or cockiness. The proof can be found by simply talking to her students as well as watching her dance. In 2010, after years of studying and performing, working at various dance studios, teaching and coaching dance teams including an ABA dance team, encouragement from friends who knew her ability and most importantly the relentless yet gentle nudging, tugging and direction from God, Gore launched her own dance school and studio. She initially ventured out with a partner. The two began to develop a business plan. Nevertheless, the partnership never really coalesced. It was then that she says God spoke to her and said, “I gave YOU this vision; do it alone.”

“When God gives you something to do you can’t always work under people,” she says. “Sometimes you have to do it by yourself. So I decided to do it on my own.” Victorious Dancer was born. At first Gore was somewhat apprehensive. From the very beginning she never really saw dance as a career. A planning consultant for a non-profit, she has a BS in geography from UNC Charlotte and a Masters in public administration from North Carolina Central University. She feared if she pursued dance as a career she would lose her passion and drive for the art form. Her theory has proven to be the furthest from the truth. The more she puts into Victorious Dancers the more driven she becomes. She cannot wait for the day in which will be able to expand further. That day is certainly not very far away. Within two months of opening the doors, she has acquired over 20 students. Interestingly, not one of those students is the result of hours or money spent in advertising or marketing. She didn’t distribute any fliers or even utilize the massive power of the various social media outlets. However, she does think those are great tools and fully intends to use them to their greatest potential and to her advantage in the future.

“I have done zero percent marketing. My business thus far has solely been based on referrals and I’m grateful,” she says. “It’s growing faster than my expectations. I’ve done everything outside the box, yet I am doing well. I started my classes in January when everyone else usually starts in August. I’m learning that it’s true, when the teacher is ready the students will come.” Gore teaches students of all ages, from the tiniest of age three to middle-aged adults; male and female. She points out even athletes take dance classes to enhance their strength and poise. Ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. Students will learn them all. There’s no greater discipline than the techniques learned in ballet, she says.

It’s all about the three Ps-position, poise and posture. Ballet demands that the entire body come into agreement and control itself. Stand up straight, arch, elongate the neck, and point the toe. Tap and jazz are somewhat more fun and playful in nature yet there is technique and attitude. Although many would throw the book out when it comes to hip hop as a recognized and respected dance style, Gore begs to differ. It’s a combination of ballet, tap and jazz. It’s syncopation. It’s big. It builds and erupts. She feels it’s important to include hip hop because all the styles work together. Not to mention it’s a great tool to reach a generation that would otherwise likely be uninterested and she believes God places a representative in every generation.

While the students initially come to Victorious Dancers to learn dance technique, it’s important to Gore that they leave with much more. “Dance is the basic, but it’s more about building people and character. Dance teaches discipline, self-esteem, confidence and teamwork. I’m a great dancer but my character is because of it,” she says. She is just as interested in educating her students about the origins of the dance as much as the dance steps. Students will learn that ballet is a French term and that an arabesque, also a French term, is a basic ballet pose.

All the while teaching, Gore is watching each student. She tries to pinpoint their strong points and encourages them to further explore those areas. Many adults have joined Gore’s classes for various reasons; from fulfilling a lifelong desire of studying formal dance to utilizing the dance lessons as an exercise regimen because as Gore admits, “you will sweat working with me.” She’s had so much adult interest that she has even developed special themed or “old school” nights in which the adults are able to come and learn the techniques all the while moving to the likes of Earth Wind & Fire or any other music they desire.

Victorious Dancers is preparing for its first recital in May entitled, In the Beginning there was Dance. Gore is taking her love of dance much further than the studio. Through her gift of dance and countless other talents she was named Ms. Black Guilford County and is currently running for Ms. Black North Carolina. She is running on a platform to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Anemia which is near and dear to her heart. She believes it’s all about using what God has given her in order to do more; teaching dance just opens the door. “Dance is a circle,” she says. “It’s a gift that gives and receives at the same time.

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