I have litrally completed 3 semesters (halfway done!!) of graduate school; I’m not sure if I even know what that means. A year and a half ago when I decided to pursue my MFA in Choreography and Performance, I had NO idea what I was actually getting myself into, and how could I? I knew that I had just graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Communications, and that there weren’t any big-time corporations knocking on my door begging me to work for their PR departments, so I really had nothing to lose…enter Upstate NY dance department.
In some ways I wish I had received a “survival guide” for my first year as a dance major in higher education; I said it before and I’ll say it again, I REALLY had no idea what I was getting myself into. I tend to have a timid personality that slowly develops over time, and I have never been overly competitive, or maybe I’ve just never been outwardly competitive; either way, the name of the game in any dance department is to stand out and be a shining star.
My initial question once I had unpacked my bags was, where to even start? The ten of us first-years spent our beginning semester walking the hallways following each other around like little ducks lost without their mother. I pretended like I knew what was up, even though I spent most my time crying inside wondering:
How was I ever going to make a successful career out of painting the earth with my body?!?!?!
And then out of nowhere the dance-gods blessed me with a man that we’ll call Tellysaurus. Tellysaurus is a NY based dancer/choreographer who was hired in for the second semester of my first year to teach an open modern technique class, Rep and Lit, and a recreational hip-hop workshop that lasted throughout the semester
**Please note that hip-hop is like the black sheep as far as the world of concert dance is concerned.**
For me, an undercover hip-hop dancer, having the opportunity to get down right after ballet class was almost more than I could handle. I volunteered to be his assistant for the workshops, even before anyone knew of my love for Britney Spears or her backup dancers, and thus my niche was born. I was now known as the girl who could pop and lock almost as well as she could plie and ronds de jambe, who even saw this coming?! The rest of my first year flew by, as I was on a driven mission to leave my mark on the community of concert dance. I WAS FINALLY STANDING OUT, AND PEOPLE WERE NOTICING!
Flash forward to now, and I am closer and closer to becoming the Britney Spears of concert dance with each passing day. Sorry I’m not sorry, I’m here to create entertaining art.