Skills

Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses are super important in life and the dance industry. I would say I am a good communicator, personable, dedicated, hard working, and confident. These skills will help me in a dance class, auditioning for a company, and searching for any type of job. Some things I need to work on are practicing my creativity and expanding my imagination. I don’t really consider myself a very creative or intricate thinker. I am very simplistic and don’t necessarily have a bunch of imaginative ideas when I hear a song or try to choreograph. However, I think being at SMU will give me an awesome opportunity to explore and practice this skill in a safe place where trying lots of times is okay.

In dance, ballet is definitely my strong point. I am so blessed to be at a program like SMU that allows me to expand my repertoire and technique to styles other than ballet. I think the dance world expects dancers to be well rounded, and I am so ready to try new techniques and fully apply myself in all my classes to get the most of what there is to offer. My dream is to dance with a company for as long as my body lets me. I know the dance career is short, but I cherish the time I have had in my past, and my present here at SMU where I can still use my talent to inspire and reach people. I’m not sure where performing, teaching dance, or using dance to start my own organization will take me, however I know the purpose of it all will be bringing inspiration and love wherever I go.

I am also hoping to get my teaching certificate upon graduation. After I am finished dancing, I would love to be an elementary school teacher. Every child has to go to public school, and one of my biggest passions in life is encouraging and inspiring the next generation to be all God has created them to be. I want to help kids at a young age realize their full potential. My elementary school teachers impacted my life in such a great way, and I hope my skills will allow me to do the same.

Motivation

I think I am a very motivated person. When it comes to school I think I am motivated by grades, sadly. I study really hard and do my best on tests and homework assignments but I don’t usually learn the material in order to remember it my whole life. Usually after tests I just forget the information, unless it really interests me. When something interests me or I care a lot about a subject then learning material is interesting, much easier to retain and I get excited about it. However, things that don’t interest me are obviously much harder to get excited to learn about.

When it comes to dancing (and most things) I am a perfectionist. I think a lot of dancers are. It is our nature to work more and more towards being the best we can be. I am motivated by improvement and shaping my skills to the best of my ability. Plus, dancing interests me. It is super challenging and the amount of work is a huge time commitment however it is so worth it once I get on the stage to perform and express myself.

A lot of people work towards gaining money, success, fame, or approval. Those things don’t interest me. If I were dancing for any of those things I would have quit a long time ago. I love dancing, and that desire is what drives my motivation to get back into the dance studio day after day and work hard.

My faith motivates me to work hard after all I do so I can chase after all God has for me with all of my heart. I want to do my best always as if I am working for the Lord.

Values

There are lots of things I value. When it comes to dancing I truly value hard work and effort. As many days as the Lord blesses me the ability to dance, I will place my whole heart and energy into my classes, rehearsals, and performances. It is important for me to work hard because when I put everything into something then I never have to ask myself “what if?”

I think one of the most fulfilling opportunities is to perform a piece you completely believe in-one where you can put your whole being and heart into it. I want to do art that stays true to my values so I can live my passion along with my dancing. Why dance a message you don’t believe in? I understand dancing is acting, but if my full heart and soul were not in it, I’d rather not do it. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the art world requires us to step out of our boundaries, take risks, and do something uncomfortable but why dance if that something makes you feel icky inside like you’re doing something wrong?

I try to live in a way that glorifies God in all I do. I want the audience to leave my performances encouraged, touched, and with a taste God’s goodness and love. I want to honor and serve Him with everything I am and I know if I continue in this He will open up opportunities far greater than I can imagine. I’m SO excited!

Work Habits

I love to be organized. I also love schedules. And I also love having a plan for completing everything that needs to get done. I hate having a “to do” list floating in the back of my mind therefore I always write down everything I need to do on bright colored post it notes and stick it right by my desk so I can cross things off one by one. After I have crossed off everything I am so happy and free! I don’t like procrastinating because I am so distracted when I know I have to do something. I like to work hard and get things finished so I have more time to enjoy and relax and not get stressed out and stay up super late trying to cram for a test or finish multiple homework assignments. I also like to start studying a few days in advance for a test so the material gets into my mind. I’m not the best memorizer so if I do something over and over, it finally gets in my body and is second nature. Just like dance. If I get a correction my natural instinct is to work on it and work on it until I get it. I’ll do it a little everyday that way I’m training my body. However I try not to do something long enough where I get frustrated with myself or distracted. I am not one to love being still or do the same thing for a long period of time so I try to space out my tasks to keep me interested in each subject. When I am studying I always have to be shaking my leg, chewing gum, playing with my hair, or fidgeting with my fingers to keep me focused. I am a very hard worker and give my best in everything I do. I feel like if I don’t put my 100% into all things then I may miss an opportunity to learn something or improve. Plus I am super blessed to have the opportunities I do. I get to attend an incredible college, take classes from professors who are so wise in their subject field, and train with one of the best college dance programs in America. Why not give all my effort when I have the chance to become the best I can be right in front of me?

her-story

I grew up in Salem, OR where my momma put me in a dance class at the workout gym she taught at. Who would have known during that first ballet class it would later become my life. The teacher soon created her own dance studio and I of course followed her there. During those first few years I usually pranced around the studio thinking I was a princess and absolutely fell in love with dancing. I didn’t start to get a taste of what the dance world was until I moved to Illinois and trained at USA Ballet at age 10. Technique soon became something of discipline and hard work. My family and I moved once again to Olympia, WA where I trained with Stephanie Wood, Rachel Tudor, and Marianna Ramsour at Studio West Dance Academy. There I realized what it meant to dance. Over the past few years I have attended summer intensives such as ECB in Seattle, WA, Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS, and Boston Ballet SDI in Boston, Massachusetts. As appealing as long beautiful legs, and perfectly pointed feet are, when I watch some ballet dancers, there is something missing. The past few years of my training have shown me that my dancing does not have to be perfectionism. Passion is so much more interesting and intriguing than any perfect line I make. I want my dancing to relate to the audience, to tell a story, a message, and speak to people watching. That being said I want my dancing to radiate God’s light and His love because I am unable to move and dance without Him and the gifts He’s given me. I want my dancing to bring Him glory.

The Start

First task as an SMU pre-dance major: Create a webpage to showcase myself as a dancer.

Can’t wait to get started and see what these next four years have in store!

“Not to us, Lord, but to your name be the glory” Psalm 115:1