Life is a movement, an evolution from one place to another. Sometimes it takes us to better places, other times it delivers us to something that’s simply…different. For 27-year-old Mary Remy, life has been a migration from her birth in a midwestern Kansas town to her move to Paducah less than a year ago. Her adventures have shuffled her through large, fast-paced cities, and settled her down in cozy, smalltown coffee shops. At each stop of her journey, Mary has gathered perspective about her past and her present, as well as a new inspiration about her future.
Mary is an artist. From the time she was a child she was doing flips around the house and entertaining audiences that lined the couches of her parents’ living room. “When I was little everyone said I was upside down more than I was right side up. So my mom decided to put me in gymnastics,” Mary says. “At that time dance was just supplementary to gymnastics, but by the time I entered middle school I began to see dance as an art and it became my all-consuming focus.”
Mary’s family moved often, bouncing back and forth from towns nestled along the East Coast, to bustling cities in the midwest. No matter where the Remy family roamed, dance remained at the center of Mary’s passion.
While in college in Atlanta, Mary met Glo Atl founder and choreographer, Lauri Stallings. Mary was inspired by Lauri’s perspective on how dance impacts everyday life. Lauri introduced her to a new way of thinking, a new form of dance that invited performers to engage their community with movement.
No longer was dance limited to the finite boundaries of a performance stage, but now it invaded the cultural landscape. While Glo’s performances were often performed on stage, there were times when those performances moved to public spaces—on escalators in public shopping centers or in a public park.
“Lauri’s unique way of speaking about dance and movement changed my course as a dancer,” Mary says. “It altered the way I think of life. Now I see dance as a tool to find something new about myself—new movements, new choreography, a new voice.” The more Mary danced with Glo the more she found herself experiencing personal renewal and developing interests in other areas of her life.
“As a dancer, you are constantly in a state of physical discomfort,” Mary says. “But that discomfort gets new blood flowing into your body. New movements in dance help to keep me fresh, feeling things rather than living in a state of numbness.”
Her days were grueling, sometimes dancing for eight hours a day, six days a week. In the midst of the grind, she found herself ready for a new challenge. So she decided to move to New York City.
In New York Mary was able to use dance to express herself in a different way. She spent less time on stage with professional troupes and more time experimenting with dance as an art form, creating modern dance films with friends.
While Mary was driven to make art through dance, it didn’t pay the bills in New York City, so she commuted back and forth to Connecticut, working with a man who opened her eyes to the colorful possibilities that existed in food preparation. For nearly a year, Mary worked as a personal chef for a Connecticut family and learned the art of entertaining.
In September of last year Mary decided to move to Paducah to be close to family. Here she has found a way to blend her love of dance with her love of food. She still performs with Glo in Atlanta. Now she’s also sharing her cooking adventures in her blog Little Feasties. The blog has grown into a new business venture for Mary in Paducah. Through this culinary business, also called Little Feasties, Mary provides personal cooking services and event planning.
“No matter what I do, I know that food and dance will always be a part of my life. I want to help people connect with themselves, whether through food or through dance,” Mary says. To learn more about Mary and her business find her blog at maryremy.com.
Kristen Amaya Photography.