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A day in the life of a Point Park dancer

Rigorous dance classes keep modern dancer on her toes

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09

Alex Bright found her love for dancing at the age of three. By time she was in high school, she started taking dance seriously.

“It just wasn’t something that I did – it was something that I wanted to keep doing for [the rest of] my life,” said Bright in an interview Friday on the 4th floor of Lawrence Hall. 

Originally from Painesville, Ohio, Bright found out about Point Park University from her dance teacher. From there, she auditioned for the summer dance program and got in. She set her sights on Point Park, and it was the only school she auditioned for. She knew that having only one school in mind was not good, but she said Point Park was the only place she wanted to be.

The dancer, who is concentrating in modern, is now in her sophomore year. A normal school day for Bright is anything but slow-paced. This semester, Bright is taking jazz and modern four days a week and contemporary partnering once a week. Mondays are hectic for her, to say the least.

Bright wakes up around 8 a.m. to get ready for her 9:40 jazz class. She and her fellow dancers start class with warm ups. The class does floor work, ab work, pilates and yoga as some of their warm up routines.

Next, they go into the dance combination learned that week. In her dance class, Bright is pushed to her limits. She describes class as emotionally and physically draining. 

“Your teachers are really passionate about what they’re teaching, and they want you to understand,” Bright said.

The teachers are strict about what happens in class, so anything done incorrectly does not go unnoticed. According to Bright, she sometimes feels like she is being torn down in class, but she takes it as constructive criticism.

“Being able to build yourself up and being able to pick yourself up from that and grow so much is what is positive to me,” said Bright. “I always feel more empowered.”

After having jazz class for an hour and a half, Bright goes straight to her next class, world religion. Then she goes to psychology at 1 p.m. Bright is finally able to have a break for two hours before her contemporary partnering class at 4:20. Depending on the week, Bright’s school day is not over until 10 p.m. since she has a music appreciation class every other Monday.

A schedule that piled up could be enough to make the average student fall behind - including Bright - but she handles it well.

“The two-hour break helps because I can eat my lunch and just kind of prepare for the rest of my classes and get ready for the end of the day,” said Bright. “I’m just used to having a busy schedule so going to class to class, I’m okay with it.”

Although she has her two-hour break in between her afternoon classes, Bright is able to fully unwind in the evening. That is when she is able to spend time with her friends and do her school assignments.

Bright does not practice much outside of her dance classes because of the hours she puts in for class. Instead she works out to get in better shape for dance.

“I’ll try and do yoga or like go to the gym and just focus on muscle groups I know I need to work on,” Bright said.

Classmate and friend, sophomore Ashley Zimmerman, joins Bright in her morning jazz class. Zimmerman said Bright’s has a hard work ethic for dancing.

“[Bright] tries to apply corrections right away. She puts full energy into her dancing, and she’s very, very focused,” said Zimmerman in a Saturday phone interview.

Aside from class, both Zimmerman and Bright are a part of Campus Life, so they also spend time together participating in tours and regular Campus Life activities, according to Zimmerman.

The last week before spring break, Bright will be doing her dance midterms. Her assignment for her dance class is to get inspired from the artwork currently at the Wood Street Galleries and create a dance piece for it to present. She also has a combination dance to perform as her modern midterm.

Bright just sees the combination dance as a normal day in her class, so midterms are something she is handling with ease.

“I never felt unprepared for a dance midterm,” Bright said. “It’s just class, but you just need to perform.”

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