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courtesy of Reeves Photography – They do such a great job photographing dancers!
PS- That is me in the picture!

I bet you wouldn’t know how much dance has shaped my life based on this blog! Well, I haven’t thought too much about it until I had 3 songs I have danced to pop into my iTunes shuffle.

I have been dancing since I was about 5 years old and have been blessed to continue through college. I received my early training at Kitty Lee Dance Studio in Omaha, NE but didn’t get “serious” about dance until I was 12 and danced competitively with Let’s Dance Studio of Bismarck, ND. Once I went off to college, I fell in with the North Dakota Ballet Company in Grand Forks, ND and have been there for 5 years. Wow, time flies by!

There I have had amazing experiences and pre-professional training. I even had my first paying gig in St. Cloud, MN this year! I’ve taught dance quite a bit and been the Competition Director for our younger students at NDBC. All of this equals lots of time dancing, which is something I’ve not even discussed here on this blog!

Oh! and I choreograph too! (For the non-dancers unfamiliar with the term…it means I make dances up!) Below is a piece I set last year. It was recorded at our company concert in 2011 in which I messed up…oops. The show must go on, right? We redid it this year and it was even better, but I don’t have a recording of it. C’est la vie!

I initially choreographed this piece for a university project. It was my capstone project for my French major, of all things! It was a reaction to a novel we read in our class called Women Without Men. My reaction was one of sadness of the work and the disconnect between the women in the novel. My intention was to express women’s inherent dignity given by God out of love. We are meant for great things and work better when we can have authentic friendships and be in community with one another.

via Women’s Work – NDBC – YouTube.

Elements from the novel and my reaction are reflected in the movements. In the beginning each dancer is separate in her actions but comes together with a common story, similar to the novel. I draw a more specific parallel from the novel in that each woman has a separate story but all end up together (in a garden, in the book). Where my own voice comes in is when they break apart again but make connections showing support for one another. By the end, they do seem to dance in community having come through suffering with each other. The very end, I intended to leave on a hopeful note.

Dance is creative. That’s one of the many dance stories in my brain.