Freedom in Dance

When I was little I wanted to be a Principal Ballerina with the New York City Ballet. With Dance Theatre of Harlem. With Joffery. Then I wanted to make it to 5’6″ so I could be a Radio City Rockette. Then I wanted to be the next Sutton Foster and take over Broadway. Then I wanted to dance with Hubbard Street Dance Company.
For a long time I mourned those dreams. I mourned that my depression robbed me of succeeding at UArts and having a chance at breaking into the dance scene in New York or Chicago. I mourned that I’m not tall or thin enough to be a Rockette. I felt like I let my potential go to waste because I’ve never tried my hardest at anything and therefore robbed myself of those dreams. It took me a long time to stop being mad at myself.

I have been so unbelievably lucky in and thankful for the training I’ve received in my life. I was so lucky the dance studio closest to my house when I was 5 was run by an amazing teacher who filled the studio with love and good technique. I’m so lucky that my parents found Virginia Ballet Theatre (now Ballet Virginia International) when we moved. My teachers there were so wonderful and solidified my ballet technique and love for dance. I’m so lucky I decided to look in the “Schools Not Listed” section in the back of the Seattle Times High School Guide before we moved to Seattle and I found the Washington Academy of Performing Arts Conservatory High School. 30 kids? Ballet and Musical Theatre? I was sold in a heartbeat. I fell in love with jazz. True, it wasn’t always the healthiest of environments, but I would not be who I am without it and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for my time at UArts, even though I sometimes still have to remind myself I didn’t fail there. I changed as a dancer while there. Horton and Graham began to influence the way I move, though I couldn’t tell that at the time. I’m so thankful Melissa welcomed me back to Seattle with open arms and a company that reminded me why I love to dance. I’m so thankful I had a terrible job in Pike Place down the alley from the tea shop where I met Lisa and she told me about 127th St. Auditioning for 127th St Dance Co was the first time I really put myself out there as a dancer and my life changed. Barbara and Rochelle taught my soul to feel again. I am so very thankful for the family I have found in the School of Theatre & Dance at UM. I have been given such a gift, being in school right now. I am so very thankful I got a chance to do school right. I’m so thankful I’m a 27 year old sophomore. I am in such a good, healthy, happy headspace right now and I have teachers and friends who push me as a dancer and support me as a person and I feel so lucky and blessed.

I’ve learned so much about myself as a dancer in the past three semesters. I am such a different dancer than I ever thought I would be. I am so clearly influenced by my training. Whenever people ask me what kind of dancer I am, I have a hard time answering. I can trace direct lines to Alvin Ailey, Antony Tudor, Bebe Miller, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Buzz Miller, George Balanchine, Gus Giordano, Jack Cole, Jacques d’Amboise, Jerome Robbins, Jiri Kylian, Joan Meyers Brown, Joe Tremaine, Kent Stowel, Lee Theodore, Martha Graham, Michel Fokin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Nancy Stark Smith, Pat Graney, Paul Taylor, Robert Joffery, Rodolf Nureyev, Sergi Diaghilev, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe and so many more. I am a product of all their styles and more.

I used to hate improv. When I started at UM I had nothing but negative feelings about improv and its use in rehearsals. But we use it so often here at school, both in rehearsal as material generation and inspiration and in classes, so I had to learn to enjoy it. I love it so much now. It has become a part of my dance style and I’m thankful for the tools it has given me.

A couple weeks ago I was in rehearsal with Sydoney, Carissa, Samual, and Marit for Sydoney’s beginning comp final piece. Her camera battery died, but I had my computer with me so I recorded our improv for her. I’ve never watched myself improv before. I think I like what I see. I’m not in the shape I’d like to be in and I’m sure I could find a million things to nitpick about the way I look and move, but I’m not going to.

I’m thankful for the freedom I’ve found as a dancer in the past couple of years.

twohundredthirtyseven – twohundredfortythree

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august 25, 2014

First day of school! Class outside!

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august 26, 2014

I do love this crazy grid of ours.

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august 27, 2014

A little Wednesday night glam.

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august 28, 2014

I am so happy at the dance auditions turn out! Plus, we had so many boys!

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august 29, 2014

I LOVE MY EMILY!

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august 30, 2014

Daryl and I saw this amazing custom truck at GFS this morning. I want!

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august 31, 2014

I went to DraughtWorks with Jessie and Adam and spent the whole time holding Kaia. She is so very tiny and cute!

twohundrednine – twohundredfifteen

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july 28, 2014

Sometimes I like to do something other than put my hair in a messy bun.

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july 29, 2014

I whacked my elbow on the counter so very hard today. It immediately started swelling up and it’s going to be pretty tomorrow.

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july 30, 2014

Roomie pic after dress rehearsal!

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july 31, 2014

The struggle is real.

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august 1, 2014

My jazz rep class before the show tonight!

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august 2, 2014

I had no responsibilties today until ushering the IDT show in the evening, so I wandered Pearl Street. Very happy I got to enjoy the gorgeous Boulder weather!

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august 3, 2014

I’m very happy I got to spend the past two weeks with these three wonderful ladies.

twohundredtwo – twohundredeight

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july 21, 2014

Good morning, Boulder!

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july 22, 2014

Day two of the workshop and I’ve already discovered new bruises.

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july 23, 2014

A hint of sunset through the trees on campus.

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july 24, 2014

Holy gorgeous sky, batman!

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july 25, 2014

Interweave Dance Theatre flashmob show at Pearl Street Mall!

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july 26, 2014

Setting up for tech rehearsal tomorrow. This girl got to spend three hours dancing and three hours focusing lights today and it was wonderful.

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july 27, 2014

Tandem spotting at Half Fast Subs.

onehundredsixty – onehundredsixtysix

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june 9, 2014

I’m trying to eat a lot more veggies. I love broccoli!

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june 10, 2014

I managed to pack before it got dark, so relaxation time!

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june 11, 2014

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m on vacation! Spending a week in New Jersey and Delaware! Two days with Emily from UM, including a trip to the City, then the rest of the week with Gabi and her Bryan in Jersey and Delaware for Lindsay’s wedding!

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june 12, 2014

It smells like heaven!

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june 13, 2014

The night before Lindsay’s wedding involved lots of nail polish, wine, and heart-to-heart chats with Gabi until 4am.

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june 14, 2014

I am so very, very happy I was able to spend this beautiful day with Lindsay and her new husband Josh.

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june 15, 2014

KBSD/ADA Recital, lets do this!

onehundredthirtytwo – onehundredthirtyeight

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may 12, 2014

I went to the National Bison Range with my parents and Grandma today, It was so beautiful!

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may 13, 2014

The moon was so big and bright on the way to dinner with Clare tonight.

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may 14, 2014

After our modern performance tonight, Jes had us over for a fire.

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may 15, 2014

Karl and Nathan wore the most perfect shirts today.

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may 16, 2014

I believe we have a graduate in the house!

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may 17, 2014

New maters! So excited for the garden this year.

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may 18, 2014

I might actually die from how cute the pre-ballet classes were today in the Ballet Arts Academy recital.

onehundredtwentyfive – onehundredthirtyone

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may 5, 2014

A post-double dress rehearsal shower beer.

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may 6, 2014

Dance New Works 2014: Welcome to The Moulin Rouge, choreographed by Jessica Leanne.
Photo by William Munoz.

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may 7, 2014

Dance New Works 2014: Lineage, excerpt from Blank Paper, choreographed by Jes Mullette.
Photo by William Munoz.

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may 8, 2014

Dance New Works 2014: Exoneration, choreographed by Jacqueline Marie Pettus.
photo by William Munoz.

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may 9, 2014

Dance New Works 2014: Logolepsy, facilitated by Emily Jay Vascimini.
Photo by William Munoz.

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may 10, 2014

Dance New Works 2014: Club Royals, choreographed by Brooke Carlisle.
Photo by William Munoz.

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may 11, 2014

Theatre & Dance Picnic today. On top of the best Paper Plate Award ever, I also received two scholarships!!