Where are you in dance right now?


Where are you in dance right now? I posed this question to twelve high-school dancers last year. My intention is to ask them each year for as long as they respond, hopefully chronicling their growth through the practice of dance. Only eight of the original twelve high-schoolers responded to my survey this year. Nevertheless, I will continue this project until the last dancer stops responding.

Below are four of the dancers’ responses. On Thursday I will post the other four. I hope they continue to respond to my survey in the future, as I’m curious to find out where dance will take them.


Georgia Downey, 16


Last year at this time, I was kind of on the outs with dance.

I wanted to try new things and see what else I could do…

I tried some sports and greatly reduced my dance time. I still had studio time five days a week but it released all the pressure that came with Ballet West. I choreographed some pieces for my school and was the teacher assistant for our director.

Taking it easy with dance made me remember how much I love it.

I auditioned for Dance Conservatory at my school this year and was accepted. I’m heading back to the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance soon also.

I’m so excited for everything that’s coming!

I don’t know what I will do when college comes, but I’m so happy to get this time in high school.

Definitely on an upswing.

 From 2013:

Dance. It’s pretty complicated right now.

To give a little intro to my history with dance:

I started dancing when I was 2 years old. I moved around a lot so I’ve trained a lot of different places. I moved to Utah a year ago and trained with Ballet West in the academy. I go to a school of the arts here where I take all modern and jazz classes. I have never taken a break from ballet classes over the last 13 years, although in 7th grade I had a period where I doubted what I was doing all these years but I just told myself to just keep going. 

Throughout my stay at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance I started to question all these years of ballet again. 

It’s hard to figure out how to write these things.

I was incredibly happy at SFCD. I learned it’s important to do what makes you feel good.

Which made me think about all my ballet training over all these years and my time with Ballet West. I realized that ballet has never made me feel good. I’m good at it, which made a false sense of feeling good. 

So I am pretty sure I’m quitting ballet after I finish this Ballet West summer intensive. 

I want to keep with modern at school and a once in a while class. But also I just want to look at all other things I can do that’s not dance. Be a teenager. Do more photography.  Learn Italian. I’ve never had time to find these things out.

I don’t know.


Delaney Goodman, 16


Wow, let’s see, where to begin with dance this past year… still dancing, thriving and maturing. I am currently about to begin Alvin Ailey’s professional division summer program and once I get back to California from this six week New York adventure, I am going to be moving down to San Francisco to finish high school at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. Dance has really kept me on track this year, though it’s been difficult balancing it with school. My ambition and passion continue to grow with dance every day and over all dance this past year has really helped me come to terms with the person I am right now and the person I would love to grow into.

From 2013:

Currently I am faced with the decision of focusing on dance or academics. We will see this year which one becomes my main focus but I am thinking dance will, since it is my passion. I have done four summer programs, (LINES for two summers, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance) and dance year round at a small studio in a small town in Northern California (Arcata to be specific). I am hoping that I can work more on my technique this year so later I am able to join a contemporary company.


Nina Guevara, 15


I am in my second week of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Summer Program. I picked this program because of its focus on the individual and I wanted to learn more about myself as a creative dancer and as a technical dancer.

Right now dance is a vehicle for me to explore many different aspects of life: work ethic, mental growth, physical strength, and political boundaries (we are taking a class called Critical Perspectives on Dance, which explores a political and social side of dance).

I am also trying to understand more of what type of dancer I am and what styles, aesthetics and movement I am drawn to. I have an idea of what styles I like but I am trying to figure out how to incorporate them in my development as a dancer.

From 2013:

-I’m at a point where I’m learning what I know and don’t know; and what I can and can’t do. I plan to build on from there.

-When I know what I am incapable of, I can learn to be capable.

-Dance is my energy and motivational source.

-Dance is my base of anatomical understanding.

-Dance is a second “home base”; it is very comfortable to me, and I am comfortable to it.

-When I forget everything else, I remember what dance is.

-I am trying to figure out how move without overusing my body, and how to use it properly

-In places, I am fine-tuning old techniques; at the same time I learning the bigger picture of new ones.


Tess Hansen, 17


This year has been my final year in the pre-professional program at Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle. Although there seems to be a sense of finality as this chapter of my life closes, I look forward to my college journey where I will continue studying dance at the University of Washington. Throughout this past year, my dancing has improved significantly. Although my technique has remained somewhat static, the expressive and emotional sides of my dancing have flourished. Previously, I have had challenges conveying sentiments to the audience. However, this year, I received a principal role in a school production where I was able to harness and express emotions of pain and loss. I am excited to be performing this role once again at Dance This!, within a few weeks. As I transition from high school to college, I have begun to experiment with various forms of dance. I was involved in my high school’s musical, both as a choreographer and a featured dancer. I could easily envision myself engaged in the musical theater world; yet I have such a strong and unwavering affinity for contemporary dance. I am delighted to explore where dance may take me in the coming years.

From 2013:

Right now, I’m in a pre-professional program, doing as many dance summer programs as possible. I went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and now I am doing two other dance programs at home. I hope to become an apprentice somewhere or continue dancing in college.