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HANNAH COLOPY 16 Texie Waterman Memorial Scholarship

Gene Kelly once said, “Dance is taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary.” This quote has always inspired Hannah Colopy and has become her motto whenever it comes to dancing. She believes anyone can have good technical dance training, but a true dancer is one who can convey their emotions and tell a story to their audience. 

Hannah dances at the Berrend Dance Centre, directed by Patricia Berrend, former associate director of the Washington School of Ballet. Although her school is ballet-focused, Ms. Berrend has supported Hannah in pursuing her love for modern. Her first true taste of modern was at Berrend Dance Centre with modern instructor, Katie Hoponick, a former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She was an inspirational teacher and exposed Hannah to a big part of the modern world.

Hannah studies in a special program at high school, The Ulysses Program, which requires each student to do a research project on any subject of their choice and she decided to dedicate her senior research project to dance. Attending ADF this summer will provide her a wealth of information. Not only will Hannah learn more about dancing, but it will increase her understanding of herself and her future place in the dance world.

With the Texie Waterman Memorial Scholarship, I was able to attend White Mountain Summer Dance Festival, directed by Laura Glenn, this past July. The festival is housed at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York and is three weeks long. During my time there, I participated in classes including modern and ballet technique, composition, and yoga, taught by instructors Jim Lepore, Paul Dennis, Giada Ferrone and Sarah Imhoff-Jones. I learned repertory from a variety of respected choreographers, and I met some of the most amazing dancers I’ve ever encountered in my career.

At the festival, I was introduced to Laban Movement Analysis for the first time. LMA is a “language” for interpreting or explaining ways of moving. I learned the roles of effort and shape in movement and then how to translate them into my own dancing. Each of the faculty at the festival taught me about this theory from such diverse perspectives that I felt like I walked away with a new understanding of the way my body could move.

The festival was accepting of all types of dancers, no matter their shape, size, or level, which made for an atmosphere where everyone could grow and learn from one another. After the festival, I was more inspired and motivated by dance than I had ever been before. The faculty at White Mountain Summer Dance festival gave me a whole new way of looking at dance and an experience I will never forget.

I would like to thank the Dance Council and the Texie Waterman Memorial Scholarship for helping me to attend this incredible festival and helping me grow as a dancer.