Agnes in 2007 with double-majors in English Literature and Psychology and a
minor in dance. It was before we had the major, but I was happy to help
champion the cause of getting that major established!
After I graduated, I worked for a while in publishing before moving to England, where I earned an MA with Distinction in Dance and Somatic Well-Being from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). UCLan now offers this same degree in New York City, which is accredited through UCLan in Preston, England. While in England, I worked as an Associate Lecturer (or adjunct faculty, as we would say in the states) at UCLan, teaching Contemporary Technique, and assisting on and guest teaching for Body-Centered Expressive Dance (Somatics), Dance and Physical Performance (Composition) and Dance in Education (Pedagogy). I also taught technique and Somatics modules as a guest lecturer at Warrington Collegiate College in Warrington, England. My research at this time into the intersection of open-framework somatic practices and traditional dance technique was published in The Journal of Dance and Somatics in 2009.
Since moving back to the States, I have been working on my MFA in Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, where I was awarded a Teaching Assistantship that has allowed me to teach undergraduate dance majors Dance Science and Somatics and non-majors the general-education courses Philadelphia Dance Experience (a course on dance appreciation and world cultures) and and "Shall We Dance?" (a course examining socio-cultural commentary through dance in film). I am scheduled to graduate this May (2013).
In addition to the above, I have also been choreographing and showing work as Somanaut Dance in Philly and the surrounding areas, beginning with being an Artist-in-Residence at Mascher Space Co-op. For more info on my choreographic showings, please visit somanautdance.com <http://somanautdance.com> . Furthermore, I perform in Philly as a freelance dancer, and have recently worked for Ellie Goudie-Averill (Stone Depot Dance Lab), Eun Jung Choi, Colleen Hooper, Michael T. Roberts, Danielle Greene, and others, and am a performing member of Movement Brigade <http://www.movementbrigade.org/> and Venus Dance companies.
Lastly, I am active in writing about dance through a number of venues. Most recently, I have been working as a dance critic/reviewer with ThINKingDANCE.net. On the more scholarly side, I am Assistant Editor of the forthcoming book Dance, Somatics, and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives under Amanda Williamson (editor) and Sarah Whatley and Glenna Batson (co-editors); the book is expected to be published in 2013 by Intellect Ltd. I am also currently serving as Associate Editor for the journal Dance, Movement and Spiritualities under co-editors Amanda Williamson and Jill Hayes.**
It's hard for me to think of any one distinctive experience in my dance career at Agnes that prepared me for what I've done since. I say this, not because there were no distinctive experiences, but rather because it was the whole of all of my time and education in dance that helped prepare me for my future--all of those elements combined to make me into who I am today. I cherished my experience in the dance department, and certainly it was my "home" during my undergraduate career. I worked in the department and was grateful to see first-hand the nuts-and-bolts of the administrative side of things, and also how much dedication and persistence it takes to keep a department running. The friendships I forged there have lasted to this day; the community within the department saw me through thick and thin. But more than that, the dance department opened my eyes to a broader world of dance. It gave me a solid foundation in dance studies and an experiential knowledge of traditional concert dance forms. I had the opportunity to perform classical, historical works while at Agnes Scott; I know now, after having been a part of other dance departments, that this was truly special and exceptional. In addition to these, I was grateful to perform cutting-edge contemporary pieces with both faculty members and guest artists. Mostly, I cherished the opportunity to explore my own "voice" while at ASC--as a performing artist, as a scholar, and as a choreographer; and to know that my voice was heard and valued in the smaller liberal-arts environment that Agnes offered. All of this fueled my passion in dance, and gave me the confidence to go further and explore further where my "home" in the field is now--and to have hope that I can help shape the future of dance to open even further, so that more voices are heard and valued as we all move forward as a field.
I graduated from Agnes Scott in 2009, majored in Dance and Studio ArtI am currently a competitive ballroom dancer working at Dance Tonight Atlanta, a ballroom dance studio in Marietta, Georgia. I train and compete in the International Latin and American Smooth styles of ballroom dance. Being a competitive dancer has given me the opportunity to travel around the country and to be challenged in new ways. My experiences at Agnes Scott College, and, particularly, with Studio Dance Theatre, have prepared me for this wonderful opportunity as a dancer. I learned that with a combination of faith, hard work, and vision, I could accomplish my goals. I remember my first meeting at the Studio Dance Theatre - Professor Bridget Roosa made it clear to me that she had a plan and was serious about her program for us!
I remember during every Studio Dance Theatre audition, Professor Roosa would ask us to find a partner and find a way to connect and move together. She continued to ask this of us in class and in her choreography. This was a significant step in preparing me for the type of dance I'm concentrating on now, which requires teamwork and partnering 100% of the time. All the dancers worked with each other in Studio Dance Theatre as professional company members would – this gave us all a higher standard to follow.
There are so many valuable lessons I learned during my dance studies, not limited to technique. Though the ballroom is different from the stage, the concept of professionalism and performance are still required to succeed. Looking back, I realize now that I would not have been prepared for my current endeavors if it weren't for my experiences at Agnes Scott College.
Following Spring 2012 when I graduated from Agnes Scott College with a double major in Dance and Creative Writing, I was accepted to Florida State University’s Masters of Arts in American Dance Studies program. I am currently crafting my thesis, which is a study of Helen Tamiris’ Dance for Walt Whitman along with a restaging of the piece from Labanotation score. In addition to researching dance, and restaging dance, I am working on choreographic projects for both informal and adjudicated performances in the School of Dance, performing in Master’s candidate’s works, and conducting research on dances in public performance spaces – namely, Flash Mobs. It is because of several courses I took at Agnes, including “Labanotation,” and “Research and Restage,” that I am pursing further research in Labanotation and one day pursing a career in academia. Agnes Scott’s dance program is where I truly found my place in the field, had my love for Labanotation ignited, and decided to pursue this craft beyond my hobby and passion, and let it envelope my entire life. Yay Dance!
I graduated in May 2012 with a Dance degree and immediately began teaching dance full time in Atlanta with a studio called Once Upon a Ballet. Coming into my college experience, I was determined not to teach dance in the future. My confidence level in my teaching abilities was almost nonexistent. During my time dancing at Agnes Scott and with Studio Dance Theatre I like to think I blossomed. I learned how to incorporate all kinds of dance in order to become a well-rounded dancer. I learned how to analyze and notate movements, but most importantly, I learned how to love all dancing in a way that made it easy to teach and share my experiences. I have now celebrated one whole year teaching dance to ages 3-18 and I could not be happier.
My degree in dance benefits my professional career daily through the discipline, poise, and critical thinking skills I gained from it. Mastering multiple dance techniques and attending every rehearsal took great discipline. This discipline translates into always meeting deadlines and completing tasks with excellence. I also carry the same poise I have when performing to my interactions with people and presenting before them. Many people have described me as, “graceful in all that I do.” Finally, my degree in dance developed my critical thinking skills and attention to detail through the study of Labanotation. Labanotation is a method of writing down dance much like music is captured and passed along through music scores. Learning how to read and write down dance has given me the ability to solidify abstract concepts into concrete information that abides by specific methods and procedures.