[Editor’s note: Amanda Newman, a recent graduate from the University of Utah, is the most recent Dance Exchange Fellow and has received funding from the Hinckley Institute to support her time spent at Dance Exchange through the summer months. From now until August, she’ll be organizing, facilitating, and participating in a number of capacities throughout a variety of events. Check back often to see what Amanda and Dance Exchange artists are up to!– M.C.]
What a wonderful thing it is to be back at Dance Exchange. After spending time with the company during their 2013 Summer Institute and their 2014 Winter Institute, I’m back for more! This time I’ll be working as a full-time intern for the summer, and let me tell you: there are exciting things in store!
It’s been a somewhat quiet week in the office, with some of the company off writing, traveling, or getting some much needed R&R. The brief calm has been a welcome relief for me and has given me a bit of space to reflect upon and process the huge transitions that are happening in my life right now.
As some of you may remember from my blogging during the Winter Institute (which you can read HERE), I’ve spent the past couple months finishing up my BFA in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. My final semester definitely put me through the wringer—it was a whirlwind of exploration, creation, and a heartfelt attempt at closure. A few highlights:
*My classmates and I were fortunate enough to work with Carl Flink of Black Label Movement in the creation of our senior piece Nest. Carl’s work is high-impact and high-intensity: a challenging but exciting change of gears for my mind and body.
*Meanwhile, I immersed myself in the process of creating a victory dance with five wonderful U of U women. Far from any ecstatic NFL-style touchdown dance As If We Had Written It became, for all of us, a process of reclaiming even our most challenging, confusing, and bittersweet moments as “victories” in and of themselves.
*Finally, I handed over the reins of Connect2Health, a Salt Lake City-based volunteer organization which provides valuable community connections for patients in need. Having co-founded and directed the program for several years, leaving wasn’t exactly easy, but I’m a better leader and a better artist thanks to the remarkable volunteers, patients, and healthcare professionals with whom I worked.
*And… I GRADUATED.
So now I’m here. And I’m not going anywhere. Except that I’ll be going EVERYWHERE with Dance Exchange this summer. From the Robinson Nature Center to New Hampshire Ave, from our own DX studios all the way to Boston: this summer promises to be one filled with discovery, challenge, reflection, and progress. I’ll be stepping in as both a participant and facilitator during numerous workshops; a mover and creator during our time in the studio; and a contributor and collaborator as DX plans for the future. Check back often to hear what we’re up to!