Hi! My name is Becky Acton. I am 15 years old and attend Ryan High School. I am in the 10th grade. I started ballet at Denton Dance Conservatory when I was 4 years old. I loved going every week because I got to wear a leotard. I attended Green Space Arts Collective from the time I was 5 until I turned 9 under the tutelage of Karen McEntyre. After I turned 9, my parents noticed I was really good at dance and felt I needed to be at a studio where I might eventually be en pointe, so I moved back to Denton Dance Conservatory where I have been ever since.
Over the years I have studied ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop and my favorite, modern. My instructors have included Lisa Racina, Alan Kinzie, Jasmine Jaramillo, Rachel Cummings, Brandy Niccolai, Michelle Contrino, Chris Koehl, Jose Zamora, Kiyung Cho, and others. I have learned not only technique, but discipline, patience, endurance. There have been highs and lows in my dance world. My typical dance week involves about 20 hours of dancing total.
I have had wonderful opportunities to perform. There are yearly recitals, and our annual Christmas show called “A Gift for Emma”. Last year I performed my first self-choreographed solo in the recital. Also, I have been a member of the Denton City Contemporary Ballet for the last 2 years. With this honor, I have been given the opportunity to dance every spring in Collage, Denton Dance Festival and the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. In 2011, our company was one of ten chosen to tour Austria with the Young Tanzsomer Festival. We performed for thousands of people during our 2 week tour. It was an amazing experience! I hope to go back in the summer of 2014.
As a side note, I love modern dance! It seems to be where I am most comfortable and can express myself the best. I love to just move to the music and let my movements express what I am feeling in my heart. It is like a release for me after a long hard day of school.
As far as my goals for the next 2 years, I want to perform as much as I can. Just today, I auditioned to potentially attend Booker T Performing Arts School in Dallas. Although it is a long shot to be accepted, as I do not live in Dallas County, I still enjoyed the process of the audition. I want to finish my last 2 years of high school performing as much as I can and take as many classes as I can fit into my schedule. I desire to dance professionally one day and need as much exposure as I can get.
First off, I want to say thank you. Thank you to all of the wonderful people who thought that I was capable of living up to the scholarship name. With the Darryl Sneed scholarship, I was able to dance with the Dallas Black Dance Theater for the two hardest weeks of my dancing career. The atmosphere there was by far the best thing for me to be thrown into this summer. The full company members were there in class with us and would help us with whatever we struggled with. They would help us with our injuries and would give us their advice with anything we asked about.
There were around 15 “scholarship kids” in all from Dallas Black Dance Theater’s (DBDT) scholarships. As scholarship kids we were given responsibilities to earn our right to dance without having to pay. So I got to work one on one with the Milton Tatum, which was an adventure in itself. You could say I was thrown way out of my comfort zone. Like way out. I had never done African, Graham, or even heard of Dunham. I wouldn’t say that I’m a pro at them now, but I improved in those styles for sure. I also got to chance to work with Teresa Espinosa. She is such an inspiration to me. She broke my emotional bubble and reached a place in me only a few people have seen. Teresa got everyone to leave it all on the floor. On top of it being an emotional experience, it was very physically demanding. They whipped me into shape. I got used to sweat constantly dripping off my nose. Those two weeks were a huge eye opener. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Thank you so much,
~ Becky Jean Acton