Most little girls will take at least one dance class in their lives. They’ll practice in tiny ballet slippers or tap shoes in preparation for a grand recital for their parents to see. But their hard work doesn't just shine under the bright stage lights. When they walk out of the studio years later, with bigger slippers and bigger dreams, then their training really pays off.
Students of Mount Pleasant’s Dance Carolina, led by director Angie Baker, shared where their pointe shoes took them after dance class ended and what skills they brought from the stage into their profession.
Katie Taylor is using the skills she learned as a dance student in her work as a dance teacher, captain of the Clemson TigerStrut dance team and future doctor. “Dancing has taught me about diligence, determination, passion, and instilled in me a love and awe of the human body,” she said. Katie’s lessons in movement and technique as a young dancer taught her exquisite attention to detail that helped in her studies and will bring her an advantage in the medical field. “My dance teachers were devoted to the technique and beauty of dance and, as a student, I couldn't help but feel the same way,” she said.
Katie Taylor, senior at Clemson University, Biology major (pre-medical)
Dance Carolina student 2006-2013
Event planner Chelsea Bradford found a deep connection to her creative self while taking dance. “I never knew my own creative potential until I studied dance and now I see it has no bounds! Dance gave me confidence I never knew I could have and taught me what it means to be passionate, something I strive for every day,” Chelsea said. Leading events and managing teams of vendors requires a high level of self-confidence, an asset Chelsea built as a dance student. She will coordinate an especially meaningful occasion this fall, the wedding of her former dance teacher Angie Baker.
Chelsea Bradford, event planner
Dance Carolina student 2005– 2009
If you don’t find Hannah Dwyer making art, you can find this rock climber on the side of a mountain. “Dancing taught me how to respect my body and still push my physical limits, how to be creative, how to recognize and love the ‘good’ kind of pain, how to be graceful, and maybe most importantly, how to work hard… all with a smile on my face,” she said. The lessons she learned in the dance classroom continue to serve her today. “Even though I may not be taking dance classes any more, I dance every day when I get onto the wall and climb,” she said.
Hannah Dwyer, rock climber
Dance Carolina student 2005 -2010
Unlike the female-heavy dance world, Wendy Enis now finds herself taking charge in the male-dominated field of Biomedical engineering. Enis credits dance for giving her the focus and drive her current industry requires from its employees. “[At Dance Carolina] I learned that I wasn't always going to understand or pick up on something immediately, but with continued practice and by keeping an open mind to alternative ways of doing things, I could get closer to mastering new dance techniques,” she said. “With any job, challenges are going to arise that will test your ability to adapt and persevere until you figure out a solution.”
Wendy Enis, engineering and marketing coordinator
Dance Carolina student 2005 -2009