Samantha Moon 15 ~ Glenda Brown Choreography Project (Choreographer)
My name is Samantha Moon and dance is my passion! I’m 15 years old and have been dancing for 11 years, participating in standard classes, conventions, competitions, and currently I’m attending a performing arts high school where I’m constantly dancing. I’ve had 7 years of ballet, 6 years of hip-hop and jazz, 4 years of contemporary, and I’m currently in my second year of modern and pointe! My preferred styles of dance are jazz, contemporary, and modern, but I do believe in a strong base in ballet technique.
I attend Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and take either modern or ballet classes every day. After auditioning at the end of last year, I was selected to perform with the World Repertory Ensemble at Booker T. Washington.
An ensemble that emphasizes in international dance styles like West African, Folklorico, and modern repertoire. In addition to the classes given at school, I take weekly ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, and hip-hop classes at Dallas Black Dance Academy.
After three semesters at Booker T., I’ve been introduced to many styles of dance as well as gaining useful knowledge that I can use later on in the dance world. I’ve worked with many master choreographers and teachers, learning repertoire and also rehearsing
and performing works effectively. Due to the skills I’ve acquired at Booker T., I was able choreograph my own solo to use for the Dance Council of North Texas scholarships this year. My school is a huge motivator for every dance related aspect of my life and will continue to motivate me for years to come.
Last year I attended Léon Dance Arts in New York, took classes at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and attended the Pre-Professional Summer Intensive at Dallas Black Dance Theater.
For the next two years, I want to focus on technique, artistry, and execution of movement. My teachers, family, and I can agree that I’ve grown tremendously since the start of my freshman year. Now as a sophomore, I’m starting to discover my own style and forte while also keeping technique in mind. I want to be able to better balance technique, execution of the phrase, and stylization in every single combination, class, and piece that I’m in. Every dancer knows that it is not an easy task, so I am very pleased to know that I’m constantly surrounded by people that support me and encourage me to reach whatever goals I set. I’m always open to learn new things and I’m constantly pushing myself in everything I do while also maintaining my A-average GPA. I have high expectations for myself, summer intensives and scholarships will without a doubt help me in every way so I can achieve my dreams.
Thank you so much to the Dance Council of North Texas and the amazing staff at the Glenda Brown Choreography Project—you have all made this summer honestly unforgettable! Each day I was learning the best of the best, and I know I won’t ever forget any of this valuable information from this fantastic experience!
Every morning of the project, all 6 choreographers met at the stage for what we called “movement class”. In this hour and a half session we would study and take notes on how to decipher different types of music while experimenting on ways to develop and alter choreography. One day I learned how to manipulate one 8-count of movement four different ways, giving me multiple variations that I could use to add variety to my choreography—from that lesson on I used that technique in every piece!
I made it a point to try at least one thing I learned in class every day during my choreographic process—which was always helpful, because after movement class we were given our music, our dancers, our rehearsal space, and our assignment.
We were only given 3 hours to come up with a 2 minute piece. Every day we got new music we’ve never worked with, dancers who didn’t move like us, and an assignment that was specially chosen to challenge us and push us as a choreographers. For example, I’ve never choreographed a Pas de Deux, and in my 2nd week as a choreographer I was given two wonderful dancers and an assignment that read, “Choreograph a Pas de Deux using only 3 movement phrases, one for each level.”
All this to say, paying attention and fully investing myself in my choreography classes helped me produce eight unique pieces. From solos, to pointe work, to Pas de Deux’s, to 13 dancers, I accessed a new level of creativity every day. I was honored as a first time choreographer to have three pieces in the closing show—one of which was my very first Pas de Deux.
I will never forget what I’ve learned throughout the course of the project. Every word from my teachers has been embedded in my mind, and I can’t wait to use everything I’ve acquired from this experience in the future. I have many goals and ideas that I am so eager to pursue, and I cherish and value this life-changing opportunity.