1. Why NYSSSA? (why audition, why did you decide to attend?)
I attend a ballet school year round, but I have never felt like I was "good" at ballet and was always told I was not graceful enough. I went to the NYSSSA Modern audition my Freshmen year of high school hoping that I could find myself in modern dance. The audition was the first modern dance class I ever took. I did not know what to except, or even that you take class in bare feet. I felt extremely out of place in my pink tights and ballet slippers, so before I went in my mom ripped the bottoms off my tights and told me to leave my ballet slippers behind. It was liberating to dance so organically. The audition went by in a blur of drumming and movements that felt just plain great to do. I fell in love. The moment I received my acceptance letter in the mail I couldn't wait to get to Skidmore. Even then, full of excitement, I had no idea how positively NYSSSA would impact me.
2. How did you find out about NYSSSA?
My dance teacher, Cathy Schariatta, recommend NYSSSA dance to me, and boy am I happy she did!
3. Typical Day/Schedule at NYSSSA?
A typical day at NYSSSA is filled with great friends, food, and dance! The day starts with an early breakfast before morning technique class. Then we transition into body conditioning (a work out class made to benefit dancers and educate you on your own body) or composition class (a class to develop your own choreographic voice). Next we have lunch in the amazing Skidmore dining hall. After that we work on pieces from various choreographers. We are all put into many dances, some created and others adapted, specifically for us. The various dances I have been exposed to come from a wide range of professionals in the field from Robert Battle's Battlefield Company to Parson's Dance, Danny Grossman and Paul Taylor's works! Many more amazing individual choreographers dance with us everyday! My second year at NYSSSA we even had Ronnie Harris for Hip Hop. The works and choreographers that we dance with at NYSSSA is a precious experience. After dinner our counseling staff always have fun activities, field trips, or parties planned for us.
4. Best Moment at NYSSSA?
My best moment at NYSSSA was last summer when I won the May Banner Commitment to Dance Award. I discovered my true passion for modern dance at NYSSSA and it inspired me to continue to study dance at the collegiate level. This award was such an honor because it reminds me of the many opportunities and challenges NYSSSA has provided for me.
5. Why would you encourage someone to audition for NYSSSA?
I encourage anyone that loves to dance, wants to pursue dance in college, or simply wants to have the best summer of their life to audition. My past three summers at NYSSSA was a dream come true! The friendships I developed I will keep for the rest of my life. You don't just learn to dance at NYSSSA. You grow and are transformed. You are loved and encouraged to dance with your entire being. You belong to a family, and you truly become an artist. NYSSSA has prepared me for dance at the collegiate level and inspired me to follow my dreams. I encourage everyone to audition. Take the chance to discover yourself and dance in a way you never have before. Just audition, you never know what could happen. I did not even know what modern dance really was when I first auditioned, but from the moment I met Carolyn and heard the first beat of the drum I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. The dance world is a very small one, but NYSSSA opens the door into it. Audition, and take the first step to the best summer you will ever have!