Straight to the Pointe

See the music, hear the dance

October 27, 2013
by McKenna Karnes


Knowing your skills is very important in this industry. ¬†As far as the business side of things go, I would say I’m collaborative, connected, savvy, dedicated, and a good communicator. ¬†This will really help me when searching for jobs and making new connections. ¬† Some things I’m not so great at are being imaginative or adaptable. ¬†I sometimes hesitate to take huge risks or make big changes. ¬†I think I’m afraid of failure. ¬†This is probably something that can only go away with experience and practice, but I definitely think enrolling in some business classes at SMU could help me learn how to cope with this.

As far as a more literal skill set goes, I am clearly much more successful in ballet than in other styles. I would say ballet and pointe are two of my biggest assets. ¬†Now I really need to work on my modern, jazz, and contemporary. ¬†Luckily, I’m at SMU and already on the right track for improving these skills. ¬†There is not a ton more I need to add to my list to improve these missing or weak skills. ¬†I just need to fully apply myself in all of my classes and really absorb what each teacher has to say.

I also plan to double major so that I can have another whole skill set to fall back on. ¬†I want to take anatomy and physiology classes so that I can be a therapist and still involved in body movement or even helping dancers. ¬†Like the creator of Toms, I just need to throw myself into the world without fear and not allow anyone to tell me no. ¬†I think I’d really benefit from taking some entrepreneurship classes. ¬†You can never have too many skills!

October 27, 2013
by McKenna Karnes
1 Comment


Here’s my product list ūüôā


PRODUCT LIST                                                                          McKenna Karnes



Services or Work 


1. Performance

A 2 hour show with one intermission that can be shortened or extended depending on the venue. The performance is/is not suitable for children/the deaf/military and contains ______________(any special content), or will contain themes of _____________________________. Prices start at $350 per show.


2. Choreography

One work of _________________(length) for __________________ (event).  Pricing begins at $400 per piece.


3. Company Dancer

Ballet dancer for a professional ballet company.  Salary begins at $1,200 a week for a 38 week year.


4. Lessons

The Teacher will provide dance lessons for 60 minutes each week, suitable for ages 10+ Content will include tap/jazz/modern/ballet/pointe/variations.  Lessons are $30 per hour.



Date and Time or Timing

Peak times include weekends and Thanksgiving to Christmas. Book ahead for maximum availability.

We are currently booking about six (6) months in advance.

October 2, 2013
by McKenna Karnes

First Draft of my elevator pitch!!

McKenna Karnes (Dancer)

Have you ever found yourself tapping your foot to the rhythm of your favorite song? If so, I‚Äôm sure we have one thing in common, our love and need for music and dance!¬† I am a classically trained dancer hoping to join a ballet company that will bring joy to the arts patrons of my community.¬†¬† I want to be the ballerina that leaves little girls awe struck, inspired, and begging their mothers to sign them up so they can ‚Äúdo that too.‚Ä̬† No matter what the size of the company or their budget, this one aspect remains the same: as long as I can have the opportunity to get on stage and share my sincere love for my art with the audience, then I will be ecstatic with life.¬† Do you think your company would have an opening that could provide me with an opportunity like this?

September 23, 2013
by McKenna Karnes


While reading through the excerpt on motivation, I discovered that I may be a Strategic learner. ¬†I place a lot of emphasis on grades and often forget the information I’ve learned after the test. ¬†I hadn’t really thought about myself as this kind of person until I read the article. ¬†I always do well in school, but I’m not sure if I’m really¬†learning.¬†If I am, then I don’t think it’s something that is going to stick with me or have a deep impact on my life. ¬†This is something I definitely want to work on while I’m in college. ¬†I want to try to be more like the deep thinkers mentioned in the article. ¬†In dance, I do think I’m self-motivated. ¬†Yes, it helps to have some encouragement from teachers and adults, but a dancer has to have some kind of drive from within. ¬†If I only danced to please my teachers, I believe I would have quit a long, long time ago. ¬†Dancers who aren’t self-motivated will not reach full potential or improve large amounts. ¬†I am going to try to be even more self-motivated and to become a deep learner this year.

I really enjoyed watching the video on motivation. ¬†That style of learning is perfect for me because I am a visual learner. ¬†I thought the point made about how exterior incentives can only go so far was really cool. ¬†This semester, I’m going to strive to use interior incentives and motivation to learn and improve. ¬†Some days, I am exhausted and motivation is extremely difficult to find, but I’m going to dig deep and always try to put my whole self into everything I do.

September 16, 2013
by McKenna Karnes


I honestly believe that my values come first in my life. ¬†I don’t think I would ever take a job if it meant compromising these values. ¬†I have very strong morals and faith, so I don’t think I’d be willing to give those up. ¬†My family is very important to me, as are friends. ¬†This may be one of the reasons why I’m already fairly certain I don’t want dance to be my primary occupation. ¬†I love to dance and it is my passion, but it has stood in the way enough times in my life. ¬†In high school, I missed out on so many social events, football games, trips, church retreats, and even just normal Friday night friend time! ¬†At times, I felt dance was becoming a burden. ¬†This is around the time that I decided I did not want to stay year-round at a ballet school I had been to in the summer and that I wanted to attend college. ¬†It just so happens that SMU has brought me the best of both worlds.

As far as money is concerned, making a decent salary is important to me. ¬†I don’t want to sound shallow or materialistic, but I would like to be able to live a comfortable life and have a family that can do the same. ¬†This is another reason why I want to continuing dancing after college in a side company or as a hobby. ¬†My first goal is to get a job in the therapy field. ¬†This way, I can make a decent living and still have time for family and friends.

In class, I am competitive. ¬†I think every dancer has to have a little of this inside him/her to continue improving. ¬†Nobody wants to be the worst in the class! ¬†I do seek praise from teachers or family, but only because it lets me know I’m doing something right. ¬†Dancers are so hard on themselves, so a little compliment every now and then can really help my confidence. ¬†I honestly dance better on days I’m feeling very confident.

Everyone has different values, but I believe that in order to be happy, we must put those values first!

September 10, 2013
by McKenna Karnes

Work Habits

My work habits have typically been very strong. ¬†My main downfall is when it comes to studying and working in subjects that have little interest to me. ¬†For example, I can zoom through any math homework given to me, but reading merely 30 pages of a novel could take me hours. ¬†I get easily distracted when reading, even by the smallest noise, such as the ticking of a clock. ¬†While focus in these situations isn’t my strength, I do pride myself in being an excellent time-manager. ¬†I despise procrastination. There is nothing in this world that stresses me out more than leaving something for the last minute. ¬†I guess I worry that I’ll run out of time to complete the assignment or end up doing a poor job. ¬†I’m a people pleaser and self-motivater, so getting the job done in a timely and eloquent manner is extremely important to me.

I found all three articles very interesting to read, because I love to learn and be inquisitive about the human mind. ¬†I’m always the one to ask “but how?” after someone tells a story. ¬†While each text held many, many great points, I’m only going to discuss the ones that stood out to me interesting, or feasible for me to improve on. ¬†“Work Habits of Creative People” was probably my favorite article because I connected to most points the writer was making. The first point stood out to me (Elaborate and Associate), because I am constantly trying to figure things out. ¬†Once I get past my shyness, I’ll ask a million questions. I’ve been this way every since I was a toddler, much to my parents’ irritation. ¬† At any given moment, there are tons of ideas and thoughts going through my head; this could also attribute to my difficulty getting through a reading. ¬†It’s like a constant battle in my head to weed out the other thoughts and only listen to the words on the page. ¬†The fifth tip, don’t always study in the same place, is something I could really work on. ¬†We are all creatures of habit, and I am no exception. ¬†I love to find my niche and get comfortable. ¬†I am really going to start trying to change things up and see how it works out for me. ¬†The eighth tip is something I have found extremely helpful over the years. ¬†I really enjoy studying hard and then taking a break to exercise and stimulate my body again. ¬†I can get burnt out easily; so, getting my blood flowing can really refresh me to begin studying again.

As for the “Work Habits Reading 2”, I found the method of deferred gratification very interesting. ¬†I am literally the poster child for self-restraint leading to self-reward. ¬†Even when I was younger, I would sometimes hold my breath until I completed a task. ¬†I realize this does not sound healthy, but I promise it was never for more than ten seconds. ¬†Now, I will assign myself something I have to get finished before I allow myself to have a snack, check my phone, or watch a video on YouTube. ¬†I am not trying to sound narcissistic, but this isn’t really an area I find myself needing to work on. ¬†Believe me, I am flawed in many ways and need to work on many aspects of my work ethic, but deferred gratification certainly isn’t one of them.

To address the article from Wikipedia, I find self efficacy extremely important. ¬†You have to put worth in yourself in order to accomplish any task. ¬†I believe one’s attitude towards any assignment can greatly affect his/her success. ¬†I am a big user of the social-learning theory. ¬†People pleasing has always been something I consume myself in, for both it’s positives and negatives. ¬†This causes me to sort of meld into whatever group I’m in. ¬†I like to be relatable! ¬†Self-concept theory is something I think many adolescents struggle with. ¬†Many young adults hold self-standards by what they think others expect of them. ¬†They place a lot of importance on what others think. ¬†This is something I could certainly work on in my work ethic.

I am so excited to work on some of my weaknesses mentioned above and continue building on my strengths.  Keep checking back for more posts as I continue in this crazy thing we call life!

September 2, 2013
by McKenna Karnes
1 Comment

My History

My history as a dancer has been a great journey. ¬†I started dancing when I was 4 years old at Chamberlain School of Ballet. ¬†Apparently, I showed great potential at a very young age. ¬†Ballet was really just a fun hobby for me until I was about 13. ¬†It is then that I began traveling to different major cities for a five-week summer intensive. ¬†I spent two years at the School of American Ballet in New York City. ¬†My memories from those ten weeks are some of my favorite. ¬†I danced beside some of the greatest young dancers in the country and took classes from legendary teachers. ¬†One of the most defining moments in my dance journey was seeing Wendy Whelan dance “After the Rain” by Christopher Wheeldon in Saratoga, New York. ¬†It was absolutely breathtaking. ¬†After my summers in New York, I spent one summer in Seattle at Pacific Northwest Ballet and one in Miami at Miami City Ballet. ¬†Each location contributed greatly to my progress as a ballerina and dancer in general. ¬†At my home studio, I had the great privilege of taking jazz from an amazing teacher who really helped me try to break the rigid walls of my ballet technique. ¬†During my senior year of high school, I had the privilege of dancing several solos and experience the thrill of engaging the audience. ¬†This past summer, I took a step back from dance and finally got to be a “normal” teenager. ¬†I had time to hang out with friends, travel, and SLEEP! ¬†This was extremely refreshing and really made me eager to return to dance at SMU.

While dance is a great passion of mine, it is not the only one. ¬†I have a great love for helping others, photography, and solving problems. ¬†For this reason, SMU is providing just what I need. ¬†I will be double majoring with dance and applied physiology in hopes of continuing on to graduate school. ¬†My dream would be to become a pediatric occupational therapist while continuing to dance on the side. ¬†I really want to help children who have trouble developing or recovering from a traumatic accident. ¬†I know my dance training and in-depth understanding of nerves and muscles in the body will really aid me in my endeavors. ¬†I cannot wait to see how my life will play out with the help of my education from SMU. ¬†Who knows, maybe my hopes and dreams will completely change while I’m here. ¬†I really believe college is about discovering who you are, and that is just what I hope to do.

Now to address the Personal Effectiveness Rubric! ¬†For the “takes risks” category, I had to give myself a 1. ¬†I can’t really say that I’m a live-life-on-the-edge kind of girl. ¬†I really do like to play it safe and stay comfortable. ¬†This is something I’m really hoping to improve on while I’m here, and college is the perfect place to do it. ¬†I gave myself a 4 in the “remains optimistic” category because I rarely let something get me down. ¬†I always like to see the bright side of things, but sometimes that leads me to ignore reality. ¬†I guess you could say I’m an idealist. ¬†For “adopts new approaches” I gave myself a 3 because I love to attempt things in a new way, but the lack of risk-taking can often hinder me. ¬†For “innovates to get results”, I gave myself a 2 because I often like to stick to what I know. ¬†I gave myself a 4 for “communicates effectively”, “respond to feedback”, and “able to adjust”. ¬†I am very perceptive to others and (hopefully) easy to communicate with. ¬†I really take corrections in dance to heart and try to apply them as quickly as possible, and I’m often aware of my surroundings and self-improving. ¬†I gave myself a 3 for “growth-minded” ¬†because I seek feedback, but often over or underestimate my abilities. ¬†Overall, I hope to improve my weaknesses in personal effectiveness.