Emily McDaniel 19 ~ Calloway & Jerry Cochran Scholarship
Artistic expression has always been a dominant force in my life. The path of creativity passed down from my family has shaped my varied interests and sources of inspiration. I am a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and a member of the BTWHSPVA Repertory Dance Company 1, where I performed works by many world-renowned artists. I am a student of SUNY Purchase College, majoring in dance. During the past few summers, I have attended dance intensives at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Movement Invention Project, Skidmore College, Take Ueyama's workshop and Perry Mansfield Performing Arts. As a NFAA YoungArts Silver Winner in Dance/Choreography, I was invited to join other winners for the “In/Out of the Studio” week in NYC. Our mission was to visit local high schools in New York to serve as arts ambassadors. We created a workshop and a performance piece to inspire young people to express themselves through creativity in the arts. In the fall, I was invited by NFAA YoungArts to perform in Los Angeles at the Warner Bros. Studio’s Ross Theatre, Colburn School’s Thayer Hall, and Nate Holden Performing Arts Center to reach out to Californians about the YoungArts program. I now understand that communication in the arts needs to provide much more than a mere visual experience; one must touch and communicate an inner emotion and create a synthesis of outer expression and inner expressiveness. During these unforgettable journeys, I have realized that the future is full of potential, a learning laboratory for new exploration, risks, failures, successes, and exhilarating discoveries.
Dancing eight hours a day, six days a week, for four weeks, was mentally and physically exhausting, but was without a doubt, the highlight of my summer. My experience at The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance was beyond words. I have never felt the same amount of benefits from any other summer program. I have absorbed valuable information that I can apply to not only my dancing, but in my personal life as well. Being surrounded by an array of great talent was rewarding and I have grasped techniques to help me become more aware of my strengths. I have learned not to judge my own way of moving but to appreciate how and why I love to dance. As a dancer I am grateful that I am only competing with myself. Ultimately, I have gained a new understanding of how much I can push myself and that, to me, is the key that will open a thousand doors. This program truly has shaped the way I see dance. Taking class everyday from Summer Lee Rhatigan, Bobbi Smith, Christian Burns, Chiharu Shibata, Alex Ketley and Tristan Ching was an absolute blessing and I thank Calloway & Jerry Cochran for giving me this utterly incomparable experience.