Straight to the Pointe

See the music, hear the dance

My History

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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.

Author: McKenna Karnes

I am a classically trained dancer since age 4. My ballet training has taken me to many summer study programs including The School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet School, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. I have performed in countless shows with a variety of dance styles, as well as nearly 50 shows of "The Nutcracker". I am now double majoring in Dance and Applied Physiology at Southern Methodist University in order to continue my love for the art of dance.

One Comment

  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through
    this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept
    talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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