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Teacher Profile: Ms. Jamie!

How long have you been a dance teacher?

I started as an assistant at age 18 and took over as Ballet teacher at age 19 - so 21 years! That’s crazy.

Tell us about your dance education!

I started dancing at age 4. I have always loved dancing and knew it had to be a part of my life in some way. I graduated from Frostburg State University with a Bachelors in Dance (after switching my major a handful of times) and continued my graduate studies at Jacksonville University where I obtained my Master of Fine Arts in Choreography.

What has been a favorite moment in your dance career?

This is a tough one!! Every moment on the stage is a favorite moment and I have so many favorite moments with my students too! I would say two of my most memorable moments are when I was 18 and I self-choreographed a solo for a competition and ended up winning the Best Choreography Award and the day I got my acceptance letter to JU. I had been denied from so many graduate programs and was on the brink of giving up but the universe knew where I needed to be and the right time for that to happen. My time at JU was life altering on so many levels.

What is your favorite style of dance to teach?

Contemporary is my jam. I love classical ballet and watching students work so hard but it is even more rewarding when they step into a contemporary class where they just surrender to the organic movement and display such vulnerability.

What is the most challenging task being a dance teacher?

Helping students understand that it is ok to make mistakes and to fall down and to be out of their comfort zone because that is where we grow and evolve. When we do this and remain accountable for our choices it helps us discover so much.

What professional artists inspire you?

Alonzo King, Martha Graham, Ohad Naharin, Bob Fosse, Andy Blankenbueler,... the list goes on and on.

Describe yourself in three words?

Hmmm… observant, awkward and insightful

Who is your favorite band?

I don't really have a favorite… I listen to a variety of music genres and artists…. But I do love a good cover.

Tell us an interesting fact about you!

I have my motorcycle license. Oh! and my newest endeavor is in martial arts. I am currently a purple belt and hope to test for my blue belt in November. I love exploring both the similarities and contrasts of movement art and martial art.

I love to learn in general. I know a lot of random things haha.

If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I can’t say I would move anywhere. I love it here. I love that we see all four seasons and the beauty of the mountains. However if I could have a private jet with unlimited fuel and a house on the beach I would totally have a little getaway once a week to soothe my soul.

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