Expanding my dancing universe

Expanding my dancing universe

I’m now two weeks in to graduate school. It feels like a LOT longer than that (in a good way). I have learned so much about dancing, the dance world, myself, my body, and so much for in just two weeks. I want to make this post a little bit like a journal entry–I have been journaling quite a bit, documenting my growth and thoughts, and I would like to share some of my thoughts and feelings throughout this journey so far. So here it goes:

The people make the program. Everyone here is doing amazing things in their corner of the world, working in dance, each with their unique stories to tell and their unique perspective on dance. Each person has something to bring and share. It’s been uplifting to be surrounded by people equally passionate about dance and equally eager to get more from dance and give more to their dancing.

The entering class of Hollins MFA students ūüôā

And we also challenge each other: we challenge each other in our discussions in seminar classes; seeing the students ahead of us and all they have achieved here, we’re pushed to dig deep even deeper in our own artistry and expression. And most importantly, we support each other. I’m amazed and blessed to be surrounded by these people every day!

Dancing modern in a graduating MFA student’s thesis. 

Every day in classes and by watching performances (and even being in a performance) I am pushed to find my voice–to better understand my movement and my expression–and to stop being afraid of the dances I want to make, the things I want to say. From the deeper corporal awareness I’ve developed in two weeks, to the vast array of dance pieces I have seen, my mind is open to so many new possibilities in dance. The first day here I was learning how to do a backwards roll, the second day I was learning how to play Afro-Cuban rhythms on a conga, the third day I was learning new ways to think about my bones and the structure of my body, the list of what I’ve learned goes on and on; I’ve learned so many new ways to think of movement and dance.

And of course, dancing flamenco too!

To sum it up so far, here’s a quote from a guest lecture we attended with Ananya Chatterjee the second weekend here: “Dancing is a way of knowing.”

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About the Author:

Alice Blumenfeld is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, writer, and educator. She holds a MFA in dance from Hollins University and currently directs Abrepaso Flamenco.

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