Life has surely not slowed down since graduating in May, but I definitely do not think that I would have it any other way. Per the usual, this summer has been filled with countless dance camps across the US and beyond. I started my travels in Santiago, Chile, working with some incredible dance teams and coaches, surrounded by the beautiful Andes Mountains. I then continued on with my fourth UDA Summer, taking on the role of Head Instructor for the first time at a camp in Michigan and teaching in Texas, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and California. The high school and college athletes that I have had the pleasure of working with this summer brought new light to my life and served as a reminder of why I have chosen this crazy career path. The hustle is a lot, but my love for all that it encompasses and the people I have met along the way surely is worth it. I now sit in a hotel lobby in Russia, here working with many other wonderful dance athletes of all ages, who are keeping me on my toes and definitely giving me a good workout during our time together. Shortly after my time is finished here, my summer will come to a final conclusion in Ecuador, surrounded once more by talent, work ethic, and passion that will surely get me excited for the new positions I will be taking on once back in the United States – more specifically, Cleveland.
Find Your Flow, a Contemporary class series, differs from the typical Master Class in the way that the lesson plan is directly influenced by and founded upon Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory of Psychology. With the increasing popularity of Master Classes in younger generations of dancers and dance communities, dance educators find themselves presented with new opportunities to influence artists for shortened periods of time, often serving as a breath in the midst of the chaotic routine of their seasonal performances and responsibilities. Through extensive research and concentrated course selection, I designed a lesson plan to be taught at each of the three classes which were a part of this series, appealing to a variety of populations and training levels.
To peruse my final Senior Thesis paper, visit the Ohio State University Knowledge Bank.
Hi! Hello! Have you missed me? I’m realizing that this past semester has been such a whirlwind that my communication has not been the best. Between returning back from China, spending another summer on College Circuit for UDA, and returning to OSU for a semester full of performances, celebrations, and career discoveries, life has been wild but full of so many amazing things that have truly been growing me physically, intellectually, spiritually, and artistically. I can hardly believe that I now only have one semester remaining in my time as a Buckeye and though the thought of the future can be a bit overwhelming at times, I simply cannot wait to see what it will hold. However, I am truly working to savor these last moments spent in a Department that inspires and challenges me with each new experience. OSU Dance, you have my heart and always will.
For my Senior Project, I am excited to bring a Contemporary Master Class series to a variety of Columbus and Cleveland dance studios, investigating teaching strategies which inspire students to experience the Flow State of Psychology while instructing a diverse student population. Growing up, I remember being thrilled whenever I was granted the opportunity to take a Master Class. The idea of learning from and being inspired by someone that I did not see in my weekly classes excited me and I valued the time spent with such professionals, no matter how short. Now as I establish a career for myself, I have found myself teaching an extensive amount of Master classes, especially while home on breaks. As I connect with more dancers and more studios through these experiences, I wonder how much I can influence those who I work with. Through this project, I hope to gain insight on my effect as well as gain new perspectives that can be used to improve my pedagogy as both a Master class and regularly schedule instructor.
This year, The Ohio State University Department of Dance celebrate its 50th Anniversary, The Big 5-OH. Since my freshman year, this celebration has been talked about and prepared for, generating excitement and anticipation for the Concert and many other events that the two-week extravaganza would entail. Being a senior in the Department during this milestone was truly bittersweet, as archives were brought to the surface and the history of the Department was brought to the forefront of our minds as performers, learners, thinkers, makers, and artists. What an incredible program; what inspiring history; and what an incredible blessing it truly was to be a part of the history as I performed in The Big 5-OH concert as part of Susan Van Pelt Petry’s work, Trace. (November 8 – 18, 2018)
As this show was my final performance in the Barnett Theatre as an Undergrad, it was truly a dream to be cast in Petry’s newest work, which focused on the dance element of Space. The show, as whole, consisted of a night of dance in the round: a night of full-bodied movement and multimedia animations and projections within each piece. There were four pieces in the concert, each aiming to display and engage in one of the four elements of dance: Space, Time, Flow, and Weight. As Petry dove into this task, she also introduced us to her husband, Ric Petry, who would be designing the video to be paired with us in performance.
Prior to leaving for China last Spring, I was offered the incredible opportunity to choreograph Legally Blonde: The Musical in The Ohio State University Department of Theatre. Since my freshman year, I have been attempting to work my way into the Theatre Department in any way. With Musical Theatre being a large part of my training – especially at Magnificat – it only seemed fitting that I would continue to pursue this passion of mine as I continue with my degree. However, between rehearsals and classes, it started to feel as though I would never be able to combine the two worlds in a way that I would have enjoyed…until now.
This week has been an exciting one, all leading up to our second and much-anticipated performance at AISG, the American International School. With the many of our athletes being students at this particular school and much of the audience including children who attend our gym, we have been looking forward to this performance opportunity over the past few weeks.
With each week I spend here, my role becomes much clearer and I am becoming more confident in my abilities to be more than simply an Instructor. From setting performance orders, to keeping in contact with parent concerns, to ordering uniforms, my role as Head Dance Coach is informing me in more ways than I could have ever expected. However, instead of writing a long post this week, I have created a Vlog of all that this new job entails! From the kids I teach to the performances we take on, I am excited by the energy that surrounds me and happy to share it with friends and family back home. I am sure that there will be another lengthy post in the future, but for now I’d like to leave this here and let the smiles on these athletes’ faces (and mine) do the talking.
I can hardly believe that this dream is a reality but I cannot wait to see where it will take me over the next three months. Curious to see how my time is spent while I am living and teaching in Guangzhou, China, head over to the UDA China tab and explore my blog and media gallery.
In an effort to keep things organized, this separate page and blog will function much like my Dance Denmark one did and I look forward to updating friends and family on all that I am experiencing while away.
When I first decided to take on Directed Teaching this semester, I was more nervous than I expected. In the Dance Team world, the technique that stresses me the most to teach is Kick. In the world of Dance Studios and Education, the technique that causes me the same stress is Ballet. Both stemming from a feeling of lack of knowledge, I suppose it would make sense why taking on this new responsibility seemed a bit intimidating. I feel that growing up, I did not have the most codified and effective ballet training and that the majority of my growth has happened over the past three years at Ohio State. How was I supposed to educate and enlighten others in something that I still needed educated on and enlightened in myself? Furthermore, how was I supposed to do so for my peers – some of who are likely to have more knowledge than I in this particular genre?
One semester down and I cannot believe that at this point in my life, I am over half-way finished with my college career. Of all the semesters so far, this has – to my surprise – been the busiest. Challenging me physically, intellectually, artistically, and spiritually, I have found myself riding the “wave” and “rollercoaster” that is Junior Year as a Dance Major here at Ohio State. However, above all, the last weeks of this semester have left me to realize how at home I am in this Department and how right everything feels that I am doing.