Like any dance professional, Jodie Gates is a master of the art of spotting.
When a dancer uses the technique, they visually fix upon a single point in the distance and keep their eyes set on it, as they undergo what seems to be a dizzying number of turns and spins. The result, after careful practice, is perfect control and execution — and the ability to end up exactly where one plans to go.
Gates, the founder and artistic director of the Laguna Dance Festival, used the technique on stage in her past as a lauded ballerina and continues to do so today; both in her dance teaching career at UCI and in her business role leading the festival.
Over its relatively short history, the festival has ensconced itself as a fixture in the community, offering the best of contemporary dance from throughout the United States as well as some of Gates' own up-and-comers from UCI.