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.
For the past two years, I have taken various Composition courses here at OSU. I have created short studies, though I have critiqued such works to all end and have left myself feeling lost as a creator. Regardless of reasoning for my feelings, I felt as though my studies were to be “precious” – that interesting word that I still do not have a clear definition for. My perfectionist mindset got the best of me and I started to question my choices in ways that somewhat prevented growth. I enrolled in Special Topics class in the hopes of combatting this mindset and becoming more comfortable in my choreographer skin – in addition to the fact that I missed learning from and being inspired by Eddie Taketa on a weekly basis.
Hello all! Remember to check out the Dance Denmark tab to read/hear/watch all the incredible things that I have been experiencing these past few weeks – especially on my Denmark Blog! I am so sad to be leaving soon, but excited to take some time to reflect on my experiences after I return to the states. I invite you to read, comment, share, whatever makes your heart happy – because I know that Denmark is filling my heart beyond capacity!
I was told going into Sophomore year that it would be the hardest yet. I organized my schedule and life keeping that in mind, not exactly knowing what the year would bring. In some ways, I agree. Sophomore year is hard. However, for me it was a year of growth physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As I reflect now, I do so with a new mindset and perspective, thankful for all the experiences and people that surrounded me throughout both semesters. I find myself in a place of clear mind and intention, while still growing and changing with each day and each adventure.
This semester, I had the opportunity to take Group Forms as part of my Composition focus. This class included a variety of assignments and readings which were geared towards engaging us intellectually and artistically. The goal was to ultimately grow as choreographers, especially in the circumstance of both engaging in choreography with others and choreographing on bodies other than our own. This being said, discussions included topics such as bodies in space, relationships of bodies to each other, and the constant question of whether or not music is essential in the final product. For me, this class proved to be more of an intellectual stimulus, leading me to new questions and ideas which I hope to use as I continue to pursue my focus curriculum in Composition.
As my third semester comes to a close, I have found myself thinking about what the rest of
my time as a Buckeye will consist of. I have started to think about my focus curriculum, how I will approach it, and how I will apply it. Planning to declare my focus in Performance and Composition, I have found this class to be especially helpful in growing my perspectives and tendencies, pushing me to make new choices when c
horeographing both to silence and to music. This semester, I have developed new
techniques for generating movement, both through practice in class and through viewing performances such as Black Mountain, Dido and Aeneas, and Dance Downtown. I firmly believe that as I begin to work towards my senior project – choreographing a piece – these new techniques and ideas play a large role in both my process and success.
Analysis has been an eye-opening course. As I have danced for the majority of my lifetime, it is hard to see past the eight-counts and specific movement choices which I am used to. My knowledge of dynamics and style were never analyzed or identified, yet now, in this course, I am learning the “backstage secrets” to the way we talk about dance. Concepts such as Effort and Motif Scales have led me to expand my perspective on dance and movement. Furthermore, these concepts have led me to make interesting choices in both my Analysis studies and additional work inside and outside of the Department.
“From technique to performance to simple appearance, I lacked the ability to find self-approval. Up
until my senior year of high school, I had let these characteristic consume me, determining my eating habits, my friendships, and ultimately hurting the passion for dance that had been 15 years in the making.”
It is a generally understood idea that college brings about various levels and versions of growth. Whether that is emotional, physical, or intellectual, I find that it rings incredibly true and that this past summer, I experienced an immense amount of growth in all senses of the word.
This year has been full of love and growth, and completing my finals could not be any more bittersweet. I have had the opportunity to learn so much about myself, and about those whom I will be spending the next three years with in my BFA Family. I have developed new perspectives and honed into my deepest interests in order to further investigate the path that I hope to take in years to come. It flew by much too fast, but I have no complaints – it was truly a year to remember.
In Composition I, we were assigned a final project which focused on this growth. As movers and artists, we all have a comfort zone, a bubble in which we feel we can move naturally and organically. As an attempt to continue this growth throughout the last few weeks of the semester, we were assigned to look into these tendencies and oppose them in our movement. Essentially, we were being assigned to go out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves to develop a new movement vocabulary.