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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hooked on dance

Published: October 13, 2006
Section: Opinions

For an aspiring performer, Brandeis can offer many opportunities to show off talent. However, the university can also help this same person become more proficient in their artistic focus. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Broadway star. Since a very young age, I have worked on my craft by taking voice lessons and enrolling in every acting program I could find. I did theater summer camp and became proficient at several instruments, thus expanding my musical knowledge. However, dancing was never my strong suit.

After dropping out of ballet when I was six years old because we couldn't play 'Cinderella' every class, I took dance workshops whenever I found one which interested me. Most of these were offered through theaters and were finite in that they ended within a few months. I built up quite a repertoire of a jazz class here, advanced theater dance there, and scattered tap lessons, none of which were enough to beat out a girl who had been in toe shoes since she could walk.

However, the inadequacy of this method became very apparent at each successive dance-heavy audition. At times, I used another skill to make my lack of dance background become a non-issue (such as when I would win a role due to vocal talent), but more often then not, I would find myself at a definite disadvantage. This came to a head when I wasn't even offered a chorus spot in 'Chicago' due to this shortcoming. I decided it was time for change.

College is the perfect time to begin a journey from double to triple threat. Though I've only been here about two months, I've already found more then enough outlets to restart what should have continued back in 1993. Within this short period of time, I have already become an alternate for B'Yachad, joined Hooked on Tap, begun to attend ballet club, and found many opportunities for dancing in the UTC's production of 'Seussical.'

I've discovered that Brandeis is an amazing place to hone one's skills for the future and the options which are available for doing so are diverse. Naturally, I'm aware I have a great deal of catching up to do to my 'dancing queen' peers, but all these clubs are already helping me take several steps, leaps, and fan kicks in the right direction.

In closing, to all those aspiring ballerinas, Idina Menzels, and Twyla Tharps out there, take a look around and see what Brandeis has to offer you. Who knows what you might discover you can do if you push yourself to try something you're not the best in or give yourself a shot at an audition. Get out into the community and maybe, like a singer/actress who decided to become a dancer, you can choose to become something new as well.