Friday, May 9, 2008

interview for my students

So much to blog about and so little time! I'll catch up...some day.

I'm winding down my semester of teaching/choreographing for these high school kids and they interviewed me for the program of their performance next week (my NYC choreographic debut...haha). Just thought I'd share for filler content til I get back on track with posting...

1. Where did you grow up & where do currently live?

I grew up in a small town outside of Boston, MA and moved away from home at 15. I spent 2 years in Philadelphia before moving to NYC, where I’ve been the past 3 years.

2. Where did you go to college?

I just graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with my Bachelors degree in Communication Arts, NOT dance! I’m currently in my 2nd semester of grad school, pursuing my Masters of Science Degree in Magazine Publishing at Pace University.

3. When did you first start dancing?
My family owns a local jazz dance school in my hometown and I started taking their 8 year old ballet class when I was 2! I walked, and then I danced. It was just natural for me. I started taking it seriously when I was 6 and began attending Boston Ballet School. Dance has defined me since diapers.

5. What are you currently doin in dance?
Living and learning. I just finished an apprenticeship with RKB and am rehearsing for a few separate performances around the city this summer. I’m auditioning and taking class a lot – sometimes too much – with Kat W., who has become a mentor to me. It’s all about working hard while still enjoying the process, a constant tension.

6. What kind of career do you have?
Dance career? I’m just at the brink of it right now. I’ve worked with so many incredible people and am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, but I always want more. It’s really tough to be a professional dancer and still survive (financially, physically, mentally) and I’m at a transition point at the start of my career.

Outside career? I’m a very busy freelancer. I write quite a bit about dance for various magazines and such. I’ve completed many publishing internships (most recently The New Yorker). I’ve done some work in public relations and marketing for dance companies. And multiple other odd jobs that I enjoy, even though they keep me busier than probably any other 19 year old you’ll meet (dancer, grad student, writer, intern, choreographer…the titles are endless).

7. In dancing where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
You know, for most of my life I was taught to believe that the only thing to aspire to in the dance world was to be prima ballerina at a major ballet company, with all the perfection and beauty that goes along with it. For a long time, that would have been my answer to this question.
But now after enriching my dancing with an entirely separate, though equally important, life I realize that I can never be that star with the perfect body and the beautiful feet. Nor do I want to be anymore. There are other friendlier, healthier, and more satisfying options for me, personally. I’ve learned through much rejection that life has a way of picking you up and leading you to places and people you never dreamed of, and from that I can say that I honestly have no idea where I see myself in a couple of years. But I know I will be dancing.

8. How was it working with the dance company?
It was a real joy to work with everyone in the dance company. One of my favorite teachers ever once told me that his job as teacher was to pass down the knowledge and support that his teachers gave him, and I hope that that’s what I’ve done in my own classes. The choreographic process was interesting because it was my first time directing such a large group, but everyone was very cooperative and willing to learn, which I greatly appreciate. The improvement from February to now is wonderful to see.

9. Do you have any advice to give to the girls...
My catchphrase is, “Follow your dreams. But why be a follower when you can be a leader?” You have to make things happen for yourself when you want something – dance or otherwise. And whatever you do, don’t let anyone, ANYONE, discourage you from seeking what you want. You may not get it, but there is still valuable learning in the process. It’s not worth having negativity hang over you all your life, and nobody deserves that power to control your emotions.
I hope we can work together again in the future. Best of luck to everyone in their artistic, academic, and life pursuits!

No comments: