I have been a dancer in Minneapolis, MN in the US for over ten years now. I was one of the first movers in the dance company Black Label Movement (BLM) in 2004 and am currently an Artistic Associate for the company. Through our collaborations with John Bohannon we got a chance to perform at the 2011 TEDxBrussels convention in a dance called "SpaceWalk" and a movement presentation called "A Modest Proposal," or, as it's titled on the TED website, "Dance vs. Powerpoint". The latter going viral on the Internet and ultimately led to the request of our collaborating team to perform at the TED convention in Long Beach, CA. Mothership TED!

However, the largest personal effect that resulted from the TEDxBrussels convention was that while in Brussels a friend who lived there told me about an audition for a dance company that was happening while I was there. The company is Ultima Vez led by Wim Vandekeybus. [pullquote]people took me aside and told me that Ultima Vez would like to hire me to dance[/pullquote]I had seen his work online and was very inspired by it, so I thought I would head to the audition for fun, not thinking I would get in as there were over five hundred people from around the world coming to the audition. It was an all-week event/workshop and I had to miss two and a half days of it, partly because of our performance at the TEDxBrussels convention and partly because my flight left early on the last day of the workshop. Wim still had me come when I was available since I made it past the first few cuts and there were only around 30 of us left.

After we performed at the convention (which was a tremendous success!) I focused on the audition. Midday, the last day I could be there, the administrative people took me aside and told me that Ultima Vez would like to hire me to dance in their reset of their hit work "What Our Bodies Don't Remember." Wim also said he very well might like to use me in future projects as well. Had I not had a commitment to Black Label Movement in February 2012 I would have also been involved with his recent work, "Oedipus." As it is, I will be moving to Brussels in November of this year (2012) to start working on "What Our Bodies Don't Remember!" I am excited about where this opportunity will lead! This chance couldn't have happened at a better time as I have been aching as an artist to find new, challenging work to dive into.

All that said, if TEDxBrussels hadn't brought BLM to Brussels, I would never had been to that audition and that door would have stayed closed to me. Not only this, but our opportunity at TEDxBrussels has led to several more venues around the world, not the least of which is the 2012 TED at Long Beach, CA. We are working on creating a workshop for a convention in Osaka, Japan as well as a business grand opening on 42nd street in New York City to name a few. Gigs are opening up left and right and I am so thankful for the platform TEDxBrussels gave us that set all this in motion. Thanks, Sam and Walter!!!

Eddie Oroyan | Artistic Associate -BLACK LABEL MOVEMENT-