When I was a young dance major, if you had told me that I would someday be a published writer and reaching thousands of dancers every day through my own website, I’m sure I wouldn’t have believed you.
Still, as a curious, analytical, and creative personality who enjoys expressing myself through words as much as through movement, it feels as though I’ve been preparing for this role all along. When the new millennium dawned, I was teaching at the studio and university level and had a sense of how the Internet might change the way dancers engaged with their study and pursuit of dance. By 2002, I was already thinking about ways I might use a website to feed dancers’ minds and save teachers (like myself) from using valuable class time to instill the core principles of a well-rounded dance education.
Struck by the potential blogging held for elevating the content and dialog that was currently available to dance students, parents, and teachers online, I began my website, Dance Advantage in 2008. I started my WordPress blog with little expectation but a lot of momentum. It was then I realized the Internet was also changing the way dancers engage with each other through social media and immersed myself in developing my voice in the online dance world. In doing so, I became a leader in a visceral industry that was still uncertain about how it fit within a virtual landscape.
I act as webmaster, editor, content director, and social media manger for Dance Advantage and I continue to write a portion of its key content but now welcome contributors and guests from other dance experts and enthusiasts. We welcome thousands of new and returning readers from all over the world and have increased our readership annually by at least 25%.
Dance Advantage has been the source of a fountain of growth for me, both personally and professionally. As a direct result of my writing and presence online, I began covering dance performance and news in my city, Houston, Texas in 2009. I currently contribute to publications such as Arts+Culture Texas magazine, which is distributed free to the arts-going public throughout the state of Texas, and for Dance Source Houston‘s news outlet, The Dance DiSH. I am also a freelance blogger for the NYC Rockettes website.
I have served as Marketing Committee Chair for the National Dance Week Foundation, presented the whys and how-tos of blogging on a panel for Dance/USA’s 2012 annual conference, and continue to be excited about the ways online social platforms can be used to bring dancers and all people together.
Being at the corner of a young artists’ interaction with his/her art form and interaction with fellow members of the performing arts community is an exciting place to be. I feel honored to have this vantage point.
My relationship with dance
Dance has been near or at the core of my life for as long as I can remember. As a career path, dance has been like a diamond into which I keep cutting new facets.
Writer is only the most recent cut in the gem. For over 20 years, I have dedicated myself as a teacher of dance in private studios, community programs, and college universities. I currently teach as adjunct faculty for Lone Star College. I have also been a performer in contemporary dance companies in Pennsylvania, and Houston, Texas.
Texas has been my home for over a decade but I grew up in Central Pennsylvania, where my fascination with movement, choreography, and teaching was nourished in my hometown dance studio.
In fact, I received a most precious gift from my teacher – a love of moving. Not just following steps or wiggling to music, but true exploration – fast and slow, sharp and smooth, high and low. I was presented with a vocabulary of endless possibilities.
Throughout my youth, I studied creative dance side-by-side with traditional concert dance forms. Because of these early experiences, I knew dance as a world of discovery, expression, and problem-solving and valued this creative process as surely as I valued mastery of skills and technique.
My desire to make dance forever a part of my life, led me to further develop and refine my skills in a college dance program, first at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and later at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, from which I earned a bachelors degree in dance with honors.
Immersing myself in investigation, I explored techniques with an increased understanding of how the body functions. I obtained a deeper knowledge of those who had come before — those who had explored and made discoveries just as I was doing. I absorbed all I could from my teachers, choreographers, and peers. I was encouraged and given the tools to become a dance artist and to guide others in their own discovery of dance.
It is with these tools that I continue to learn and grow in every experience. All that flows from me, draws upon all I have poured in.
I balance my multifaceted love affair with dance AND writing, with my role as mom to two, beautiful children who inspire my creativity and enrich my purpose. I continue to carve and shape myself as a writer, teacher, performer, woman, and mother. I seek to discover and understand the world around me and inside of me. I am a work in progress.