“I want to do this for as long as I can,” I told my mom after my first dance recital. I was seven.
I found dance on accident. A family friend signed her daughter up for summer classes at a studio down the street from both of our houses and asked if I wanted to come. My mom sent me along in a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes for my very first class. I loved it and continued out the summer which turned into seven years taking class from Tiffany’s School of Dance.
At one point, I attended two different dance studios where I took class, was a member of a regional ballet company, and danced for the middle school dance team. My first opportunity to choreograph came from being on the dance team. As an eighth grader, I set many routines on the team to be performed for school events. I loved taking an idea and a vision in my head and translating it into a fully realized dance. I was hooked.
I was accepted into The Center for the Arts at Henrico High School where I was introduced to the creative freedom and visceral qualities of modern dance. It felt natural to move this way and my body was thankful for it. Modern dance then led me to discover more about choreography. I developed my artistic voice and choreographic style by making and creating phrases and short dance work.
In the Fall of 2012, I entered what would be the most challenging, exhausting, amazing, exhilarating roller coaster that is the Dance and Choreography Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Some days, I’d dance from about 8 AM until about 10 PM. I was fortunate to travel internationally to study dance in Italy and Austria and show my choreography and perform for multiple events. I was tested and pushed into becoming the artist I am today. Easily the best four years of my life to date.
Senior year, I auditioned for a few dance companies in Chicago, was cut, and realized I didn’t want to pursue a performance career. That path was not for me. I wanted to choreograph and forge my own way.
Choreography is magical because in each moment a dance is revealing itself to you.
I am a deep thinker and choreography allows me to reveal my intrinsic thoughts and feelings through abstract expression. My work is not obvious in its content. You may not know exactly what the subject matter is but I like it that way. It challenges you to think beyond the obvious. You have to dig deeper and develop your own understanding. You relate to it in your own way based on your own life experiences.
In October 2016, I founded KARAR DANCE COMPANY to allow me to show my own work professionally. I’ve had to take multiple steps out of my comfort zone towards the vision I see for the company. My vision is there when my motivation is not. It keeps me moving forward.
No matter what happens I know that the skill sets I’ve learned over the past year and a half will help me accomplish practically anything. I’m thrilled to see what’s next for me and for KARAR DANCE COMPANY.
I encourage anyone with a goal or dream to go for it. Don’t listen to what anyone else says on how you live your life. Don’t compare yourself and your journey to someone else’s. Follow your vision! Stay in your lane. Be your best self and you’re bound to find success.
Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
I chose the Church Hill Overlook and surrounding area because of it's vantage point. When I gaze at Downtown Richmond, I see promise and potential. I see how I can be a part of Richmond's growth. I feel inspired.