Seven Semesters Down, One to Go

2018 - Photo by Jordan PenroseHi! 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.

Photo by Jordan PenroseThese past four months have been physically demanding, as I performed in the Department’s 50th Anniversary Concert: The Big 5-OH and choreographed the Department of Theatre’s production of Legally Blonde: The Musical – both which had the exact same run time…that was quite a wild ride. (Luckily, I was able to attend the closing performance of Legally Blonde, which fell the day after our Concert closed in the Barnett.) Running from one rehearsal to the next left me feeling a bit drained from time to time but no matter how tired my body was, my mind was energized and my soul was inspired to learn more about myself and my art in each role as performer and choreographer. To add to the physical growth, I have added Orange Theory Fitness to my weekly workout regiment, which previously had been centered around Pure Barre. Combining the two different styles of group fitness has proven to be a wonderful cross-training for me, growing in strength and endurance while also working to tone my body and prepare for the audition season that lies right around the corner. From successfully rising to the challenge and completing OTF Hell Week 2018 to taking my hundredth Pure Barre Class, my body feels stronger than ever and dancing with this new strength has felt fantastic. I am looking forward to continuing to engage my facility and care for my body in these ways as I pursue my career beyond this University.

Amidst any physical fatigue, however, my mind has been incredibly active as I have started my Senior Project – a Contemporary Master Class Series dedicated towards guiding students into an experience of Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s Flow State. Combining my research and study of Developmental Psychology, Positive Psychology, and Dance Education has been absolutely invigorating and I am learning so much about myself as an Instructor and an artist in the process. Teaching these classes has brought to life a heightened experience of my pedagogy and my goals as an educator. I cannot even begin to express the joy and inspiration felt as I watch students move through this incredibly structured class. Though I am holding onto my findings and discoveries until completely finishing this Series, I cannot wait to share them with you all and look forward to doing so in the Spring.

Photo by Jordan Penrose

In this first half of the year alone I have choreographed thirteen routines to be competed throughout the season at a variety of Dance Competitions and Conventions, judged for UDA, led the Varsity Spirit Orlando Thanksgiving Tour in Disney World, and spent much needed time with friends and family after being abroad for such a large chunk of time. I am still teaching Hip Hop at Dance Extension (Dublin, OH) and loving every moment that is spent with those nuggets as they continue to improve and make my Tuesdays absolutely terrific. My course selection has led me to new discoveries about musical compositions, the importance of combining past technical training with the new, generating positive affect in the classroom, and more. Sitting at home in Avon and preparing for Holiday celebrations is the much needed relaxation and re-energizing that is needed after a semester so full of so much. I am so thankful for the support of my family in all that I do and cannot wait to see what adventures will be waiting for me in the next Semester and beyond. Things are already in the works and the calendar is filling up quickly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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