There are like a hundred other things that I could/need to be doing right now (sleeping, doing work, sleeping, reading one of the 20 books that are currently on my reading list, sleeping…), but the semester is nearing a close and some reflection and looking toward the future is long over due.
This has been one whirlwind of a semester. I was crowned Ohio State’s African American Homecoming Queen/Miss Black and Gold (an experience in marginalization that opened my eyes to the reality surrounding students of color on this campus in a new way), and won first runner up in the district Miss Black and Gold pageant as well. I have delved deeper into my minor in creative writing and discovered just how connected choreography and writing are and found so much confirmation that I am pursuing the right path. In many ways, I’m excited and can’t believe that I only have three more semesters until my undergraduate career is over, but in other ways I’m so overwhelmed by my looming future. I’m really excited about the year and a half left because I have decided upon a topic for my senior project and am beginning to embark on that journey.
I took a History, Theory, and Literature of Dance class last spring with the amazing Dr. Hannah Kosstrin (who is serving as the advisor for my senior project, yay!) which focused a great deal about the African/Africanist influence in modern dance (and ballet!) here in America. My final research paper explored an interest I had in this topic and sought to help me better understand and accept my own self in this history. The title was “Black Female Bodies in American Culture and Performance.” This class really ignited a spark in me; I finished the paper, but found myself looking at race, identity, culture and community in almost everything around me. As I was taking this class and doing this research, I was simultaneously choreographing Bloodlines. All of these thoughts and ideas are closely bound to my own journey of self-love. I seek to understand the Black dancing body as a whole in hopes to better know myself and where/how my own body can continue in the steps of my predecessors.
So this is my senior project — continuing to research Blackness in American dance and culture and to develop choreography (group and potentially some solo work) as a response to my research. I am planning to do a distinction project, which will require me to do defend my thesis before a jury and then do some rewriting. Overall, I am super excited to begin this journey, and I am incredibly thankful to the women who have inspired and helped me thus far — Dr. Hannah Kosstrin and Bebe Miller. I am so looking forward to working with the both of them on this endeavor.
Hopefully, I will do a better job in the coming months of documenting my work and you all will be able to join me.
On a side note: I am writing this post on a laptop that I fear will quit on my at any moment… I am in desperate need of a new one that will allow me to record all of my notes and work without worry and unwarranted technological frustration. If you would like to help me fill this need, please feel free to visit this link and make a donation. I am so appreciative of every little bit! Thank you 🙂