Arcadia Langmead, who is a junior at Centennial High School, dances the role of a “dream messenger” in Out on A Limb’s upcoming productions of “Once Upon a Dream” Feb. 23-24 at The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul.
Langmead, a junior at Centennial High School, is one of more than 80 “dance actors” to perform in Out on A Limb’s production of “Once Upon a Dream” Feb. 23-24 at The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul.
“Dance has always been what I wanted to do. Out on a Limb has been a really great place to learn about performing and technique,” she said. Langmead has been with the company for around 3 1/2 years after her previous studio, Dance Moves in Circle Pines, closed its doors.
Her favorite type of dance is, unsurprisingly, ballet; however she has done a little bit of everything. “The show has almost every kind of dance in it. We have hip-hop, ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics …” she explained.
The dance musical centers around Imara, a young girl who dreams of becoming a person of significance. Her once idyllic life is turned upside down when, at the age of 12, she loses her mother to a car accident. She is then faced with the overwhelming guilt that if she had been more perfect, she and her father wouldn’t be experiencing this horrible twist of fate.
Imara’s journey takes the audience into her crazy dreams as her classmates morph into Snapchat-like characters. These caricatures of her real-life friends and foes help her to understand she has everything she needs to make her dreams a reality.
As one of the six “dream messengers,” Langmead visits Imara in her dreams and plays the role of “acceptance” one of the stages of grief. Although she has been in numerous productions, she said this is her first show with a large role.
“Getting to work with the company has been really enjoyable for me because I have learned a lot from them and learned more about how to be in a professional company where I am not being a student,” she said.
Artistic Director Kim Martinez, a resident of Blaine, came up with the idea for Out on a Limb with co-founder Marcey Bolter Mastbaum, and the company is now in its 17th year. Martinez’s grandmother, mother, herself and her children have all been dancers.
“I looked at the competition model and that wasn’t where my heart was at for the industry. Although it creates beautiful dancers, dancers don’t really have a platform to utilize it in their life, because we have not as an industry grown the audience for it,” Martinez explained. “(I started it) to prove not only to my own heart, but to all the dancers out there, that dancing is as entertaining and connective as singing is. I believe when people connect with a song, they connect with it because it is literally speaking to them. Dance is the same way.”
Performances of “Once Upon a Dream” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, or at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. For more information, visit
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Kim Martinez, a resident of Blaine, is the artistic director of Out on A Limb, which is a dance theater company.