Goodbye from a DX Intern

The curtain is falling on my time here at Dance Exchange and soon I’ll be flying back down south. It amazes me to think that five months ago I didn’t even know of Dance Exchange. I had never really explored dance beyond the occasional ballet and musical theatre, and my knowledge of contemporary dance was mostly limited to Martha Graham. Now, I find myself in awe of what Dance Exchange does and that I was able to be a part of it for even a short time.

Dance Exchange brings all different types of people – all different ages, all different body types, all levels of experience – and shows them that they have the ability to move and explore and express themselves through dance. I was given the chance to see a rehearsal of The Matter of Origins before the company brought it to Chicago in November. In watching the piece, I saw how dancers are able to use their bodies to tell a story, to express an emotion, and even simply to take your breath away. If you’ve not yet seen The Matter of Origins I suggest you take a look at the video posted here.

Me giving my best pose during our Retro Rendezvous. Hair by Wayles Hanes.

I have taken away so much from my time here at Dance Exchange. I have seen how the idea of rest (or unrest) can inspire a work of dance. I have gotten a crash course in dance history, including our own Martha Wittman discussing Doris Humphrey. I have learned how to perfect my Victory Rolls. I have learned a great way to give and receive feedback. I have enjoyed parlor games, Nutcracker stories, and delicious homemade treats. Most importantly, I have come away from my internship with a better sense of dance in today’s world and the idea that there is no exclusivity within dance at Dance Exchange.

I hope that in my time here I have given just as much to Dance Exchange as I have taken. My time here was spent mostly doing the small tasks, sure, but as they say, the devil is in the details. I like to think I contributed not only my skills as an intern, but my humor and upbeat attitude, my budding friendship with American Airlines, my patient mail-searching skills, and, perhaps, a couple sweet treats of my own.

So as I take my final bow, I leave these questions both in my mind and in yours: Who gets to dance? Where is the dance happening? What is it about? Why does it matter?

About Colleen Robinson

Colleen Robinson is the Dance Exchange Administrative Intern for this fall.