nity first,” offering the job search example ofmoving to a specific location first, instead of relying on open call auditions and such.

To further emphasize howimportant it is for students to showin whatway they can be an asset to a given graduate dance degree program,Bonner suggested, “Be heard and be seen. That’s how you’re going to get themost out of life. If you justwait until every- thing is handed to you, it’s going to get to be a really long line.”

Garfinkel assured, “If you’re really passionate about thework that you do, you’ll neverwork a day in your life.

Fall 2014marked the start ofmyM.F.A. inDance journey. The deci- sion to pursue graduate studies in dance did not come easily forme either. Inmy search and application processes, I relied heavily on one insightful resource. TheweeklyMFAMondays blog series by FrameDance Productions’ LydiaHance featured exceptional advice fromM.F.ADance graduate students and alumni sharing their thoughts on the process of attaining theM.F.A. degree.

After reading the blog for severalweeks, I reached out to Lydia and was featured in a four-part story titled, “WhenGrad School BecomesWorth It.”Here, Imused aboutmy post-graduation jour- ney,move toNewYorkCity, and decision to pursue graduate study, later deferringmy enrollment for one year to ensure the dance degreewas right forme.

Here, Iwrote:

“Over the past year, somuch has changed. My choice to design a lifestyle based on dance feels valid, and I amcontent knowing that I amcapable of accomplishing the goal. I probably readmore books this year than at any other time inmy life, on subjects ranging from finance, positivity and purpose, andmasterly dance teaching to

Pictured: LaurenAshlee Small

finding thework you love, thinking, and the power of the introvert. My family and friends have been a huge encouragement and con- tinue tomotivateme to usemy gifts to their full capacity. Opportunities come inwaves fromthe dance networks I discovered and connectedwith during the last fewyears...Most importantly, graduate school, specifically theM.F.A. inDance journey, finally becameworth it tome. I amvery excited to begin this journey on August 20, 2014 inBelhavenUniversity’s newprogram.”

Continued on page 19.


a publication of the dance council of north texas

vol. 19 • no 4

May-July 2017 page 15

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