Making [Major Life] Moves

Though I had previously edited the look and feel of my site prior to my recent life moves, old thoughts and feelings remain in my main feed and now that I am settling into this new adventure, I feel it is time for an update. And truly, that feeling is the one that is leading me into finally taking the time to sit down and collect my thoughts: I feel settled.

Sometime near the end of the last school year, life hit me like a cliché ton of bricks as I realized that my career path was about to skyrocket into something that perhaps was not my desired goal or intention – a realization that now, when I look back, was presenting me with warning signs and thoughts over the past year but I had pushed them off to the side thinking and believing that I knew better. The “hustle” that used to excite me was starting to disappear earlier than I had planned and I realized in a sudden instant that there was a change that needed to happen: If pursuing my Master’s Degree in Dance Education wasn’t already enough, I realized it was time to shift my focus and my path, transitioning to full-time freelance work as a choreographer, traveling dance educator, and dance competition judge/faculty.

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Zooming through Quarantine

When I was younger, I remember dreaming about what the future would look like. I would watch Zenon: Girl of the 21stCentury or see a re-run of The Jetsons and start to ponder what the future would hold. At the time, 2020 seemed light-years away and with every new Mayan calendar that was discovered, no part of little me was entirely certain that we would get there. What I did have my eyes set on was the technology that seemed to exist years down the road. I had no idea how it would get there or who was going to be making it. At the time, I just couldn’t wait to use it with my friends and have their holograms pop up in my house on a Snow Day. Little did I know that 2020 would be the year that I would be embracing technology more than ever before, even adding it to my resume as I take on the new role of virtual dance teacher, coach, and barre instructor. In fact, I am sure that awkward, glasses-wearing, brace-faced fourth grader would have found that notion completely out-of-this-world – even more so than the futuristic world I would see on the television screen. Yet, here we are.

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Blesses & Stresses

Processed with VSCO with g6 presetIt seems that my motto these days has been “I feel blessed to be stressed.” With the year coming to a close, these past few months have been an absolute tornado – but not the kind that drops a house on a wicked witch and leaves you stranded in a world of lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). This tornado has led me to meeting incredible people, being filled with more inspiration than I could have ever imagined, and furthering my career in the dance world in ways that I thought I could only ever dream of. Now, don’t get me wrong – lions, tigers, and bears have been thrown my way, but I think I am okay with playing zookeeper for a little while. The added stress that comes with it is a blessing…or at least according to me.

At this point in my career, I have either taught, performed, choreographed, or judged in five out of the seven continents. Continue reading “Blesses & Stresses”

Long Time, No See: Quick Life Update

IMG_1589Life 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.

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Find Your Flow: Senior Thesis

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.

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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.

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Find Your Flow: A Master Class Series

For my Senior Project, I am excited to bring a Contemporary Master Class series to a Media Designed by Paige St. Johnvariety 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.

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Tracing History: The Big 5-OH

IMG_0308This 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.

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Omigod! Choreographing Legally Blonde

© The Ohio State University Department of Theatre, 2018 Legally Blonde, The Musical (Photo by Jodi Miller)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.

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