Repertory Dance Theatre

How does a first-year Company member work through learning dances that the rest of the Company has known for years? Daniel Do shares his valuable lesson that applies to more than just learning choreography. 

I recently started my first season as a company member with Repertory Dance Theatre.  I am thrilled to be back in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah and to be dancing, training, and growing everyday as an artist. Already working with the company for a few months, I have learned many valuable lessons. I want to talk about the main one that keeps coming back to my everyday life: trial and error.

There is a lot to balance with this job, especially being a first-year member. There are times where I am learning multiple pieces in their entirety all within a week. My body was initially in shock as it tried to acclimate to the rigor, physically and mentally, of being on a repertory company. However, from trial and error, I am discovering what I need to successfully do my job as a company member. I learned to stay present in the studio, do my “homework” of reviewing choreography, and adapt to every single day’s challenges to hopefully end the day knowing I gave it my best.

“Say Their Names” by Natosha Washington, Photography by Sharon Kain

Additionally, eating healthy has played such a crucial role in helping me get through the day. Figuring out what and how much to eat l has been a part of that trial and error lesson.

What has worked best for me is to eat smaller meals and have hearty snacks throughout the day. This will ensure I don’t overeat and walk back into rehearsal feeling too stuffed to move. I know the amount and content of food varies for every person and that’s the great part about trial and error-playing around with different things and listening to how your body responds.

“Rainbow Round My Shoulder” by Donald McKayle, photo by Sharon Kain

From there, take out what is not working and keep what is working. At the same time, understand that change is inevitable, but that is what keeps life exciting.


Speaking of excitement, our current season (Manifest Diversity) is one for the books. After performing my first show, SPIRIT, all I could say was, “wow.” It was a phenomenal experience. Our next show, MOSAIC, promises to be just as good and I can’t wait to share the stage with so many of our community’s ethnic dance groups!

RDT’s MOSAIC opens November 15. Learn more and get tickets here.

Trung “Daniel” Do was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and received his BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah.  While in college, he was selected as a supplemental dancer for Repertory Dance Theatre and Ririe Woodbury Dance Company for various works. Most recently, he relocated to Oregon where he collaborated and performed with Polaris Dance Theatre, Shaun Keylock Company and presented his choreography at the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work. Additionally, he was selected as a guest dancer with Ririe Woodbury Dance Company for their Alwin Nikolais France tour.

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