Name: Jenn Rose
Area of Study: Kinesiology, Dance minor
Current City: Philadelphia PA
Graduation Date: May 2005
Occupation: Choreographer/Teaching Artist
I originally chose WCU for the Sports Medicine Program but realized after year one that it wasn't for me. I was a little lost my freshmen year, but I was fortunate enough to stumble across a flier announcing auditions for the University Dance Company. So, I auditioned and became a member of the company and stayed put for the rest of my time at WCU.
The Department of Theatre and Dance provided me an opportunity to choreograph a piece every year. Since the spring dance concert was primarily student based, I had the chance to experiment and grow as a choreographer, leader, and dancer, and artist. Being part of the spring production, I was provided with the knowledge of how to produce a concert, i.e. scheduling, advertising, lighting, costumes, ticketing, budgeting.
Since I am a freelance choreographer, my typical day varies with the job that I am currently working on. Currently, I am choreographing an 80 minute feature dance film, Christmas Dreams, due to release in November 2012. 12 hour days are the norm. Come fall, I will teach a few nights a week, choreograph some competition dances, start to develop my own work, and go into preproduction for a production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Drexel University. It all depends on the time of year, my motivation, and the status of my bank account.
I would say that all you have to do is do it. It's trial and error. I have been getting paid to create movement and dance professionally for six years now. Some jobs are great, some are torture. Some are for the art, and some are for the money. It's all about figuring out who you are as an artist and who the people are that you can create with. Collaboration is key. I am only as good as the people that I surround myself with.
I have a long list of great memories from being a student at WCU. But, my favorite memory is from being involved in the Theatre and Dance department's production of Hair! in the winter of 2004. The experience made "My eyes open wide, wide, wide." It was then that I realized what I should be doing with my life. I was lucky to share that experience with some amazing people and artists that I still continue to work with today.