Emily McDaniel 17 ~ Charles Santos Scholarship
Now a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Emily McDaniel has been on stage since the age of three. A born performer from Colleyville, TX, Emily is looking forward to a successful future in dance. She finds inspiration from her grandmother, who at 81, continues to act, sing, and dance on stage. A member of the BTWHSPVA Repertory Dance Company I, Emily has performed works by many world-renowned artists. Her dream, after graduating from college, is to travel the world with a dance company— eventually starting her own.
Emily was recently named a 2011 NFAA YoungArts dance choreography finalist, traveling to Miami to perform her piece
at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts and for classes from master teachers. She was awarded Silver for her piece, “Discovery”. This summer, Emily plans to attend the Movement Invention Project in New York City, where she will expand her dance vocabulary while exploring and creating new movement.
As a 2011 Presidential Scholar in the Arts nominee, Emily hopes there will be many more opportunities that come her way to pursue her training to become a professional dancer and choreographer.
I would like to begin by thanking Charles Santos for giving me the opportunity to attend such an incredible summer dance program. Movement Invention Project was three week long intensive focusing on creating movement and using valuable improvisational tools in a non-judgmental environment. The faculty members included Alexandra Wells, Sidra Bell, Andrea Miller, Jill Johnson, Shamel Pitts, Shannon Gillen, and Gabriel Forestieri. During the first two weeks of the program we focused on improvisation and Forsythe techniques- where the last week we spent time with Shannon Gillen on contact improvisation and Shamel Pitts learning Ohad Naharin’s repertory and taking Gaga classes. MIP was a safe environment that encouraged everyone to risk take, experiment, explore, fail, and succeed. Not only did I gain a better understanding of the way I naturally move, but I also learned what my “limits” are and the relationship of texture and sensitivity in dance. MIP was surely one of the most intense projects I’ve done but I learned to give into fatigue- which is the process of letting go. I plan to take all the knowledge I’ve gained and apply it to my future dance classes at SUNY Purchase. Thanks again for an extraordinary experience.
~ Emily McDaniel