I was actually one of the very first members of In Motion’s Performance Dance Team (PDT). So I have been dancing with team for over six years.
What would you say are the most important things you have gained both personally and as a dancer during this time? How has this experience benefited you?
I have gained teamwork, discipline, commitment, and determination. To make a number really good, we all have to work together and follow one another so we can be “on” in the routine. Being on the team definitely takes up a lot of time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dance isn’t just a hobby for me; it is my life. Most of my determination to improve comes from other dancers both from In Motion, and dancers I see from other studios during competitions. When watching others, you see things that they do, and you either want to learn a new move they are doing, or do a move you already know, the way they do it. All of this has benefitted me because they are traits that you can use both in the dance world and also in everyday life.
What would you say has been the greatest challenge you have faced as a dancer? How did you handle/address/overcome it?
Everyday as a dancer is a challenge, in a good way. You push yourself farther and farther so you can be better or improve. When I have something going on in “the real world” that is hard, I always use dance as my way to escape from the real world even if it’s just for an hour. Dance brings out a different side of you; you can go through all your emotions. There are some routines that help get out all your anger, and some that will make you cry, which always helps you feel better when you’re sad.
What would you say has been the most memorable dance routine you learned/performed, and why?
My most memorable routine would be my solo “Landslide” that was choreographed by Jenny Buck for the 2011 Competition Season. This solo means the world to me because it was about my father who passed away. Jenny really took things about his life and incorporated them into the solo; this made it very special for me. Every time I dance this routine it makes me think of all the amazing times I shared with him, and how much he meant to me.
Share a story from one of your dance competitions or performances that you remember. What happened? How did it impact you? What is most memorable about it?
Competition weekends are always the best! My most memorable competition would be 2009 Lake Tahoe Nationals when our dance, “Bang Bang,” choreographed by Jenny got third place in the Showcase, which basically meant we were one of the best. It was just a fun experience because we were competing with people from all over the country. The other teams that were in the top three with us were from Texas and Philadelphia. I just remember how hard we worked to do well on that number and how fun that week in Tahoe was.
What advice would you give to the younger members of the Performance Dance Team that you think would help them continue to grow as dancers and as individuals?
Always keep working hard and keep believing in yourself. Dance is something that is just magical, and you will always love it. Use it to get through the hard times. I always rely on my teammates too. They are the ones that will help to keep pushing you forward, and they will always have your back with anything.
At the end of the 2010 recital, what were you feeling and thinking when you received one of the rare In Motion Scholarships?
I was surprised and very excited at the same time. This scholarship was such a blessing for my family. I was also much honored to receive the first scholarship that the studio have ever offered. I love that I am a role model for a lot of the little kids at the studio.
If you were to describe the ways in which In Motion is unique as a dance program/school, what would you say, particularly to individuals considering different dance programs in our area?
In Motion is unique in the way that we accept everyone with loving, open arms. Every instructor cares about every child in that studio, and all they want for us students is to improve and grow. We all share something and that is the love of dance. I love the way the studio can bring a group of people together because we all know how it feels when you have a routine that just brings something out of you and makes you feel amazing.
The studio’s owner and Artistic Director, Jennifer August, has been one of my biggest role models since I started dancing. I have always admired how strong she was as a dancer and as a person. I love how she comes alive in a dance, and tells stories with her dancing. That is a trait that I have always wanted to gain as a dancer. As a leader, coach, choreographer and person, Jen means so much to me. She sees my potential and pushes me to be all I can be so I can improve. Jen makes rehearsals really great, and her personality is so much fun that it makes you want to be there even more. She has taught and showed me that dance is not just a hobby, but it is a way of life. I appreciate everything she has done for me.
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