Blog #5 (Skills)
There are many skills that are essential to being a great dancer. Most of them have to do with physicality. You have to have a diverse range of movement, a fit body, and a great deal of stamina. Although all of these things are very important, what I believe to be most fundamental skill in dance is discipline. I like to believe that I am disciplined, but I often have a very difficult time finding the motivation necessary to be successful. I dont have much difficulty however creating movement. In order to choreograph a dance you have to have creativity and be imaginative. You have to be flexible when things are not working out or your vision is not physically possible. There is a necessity for clarity, so that you can communicate what you want to be done to the dancers that will be performing the work.
The excellence of others compels me to become better. I am motivated to captivate some of their greatness in myself. When I see a dance performance and I find tears streaming down my cheeks I know then that I want to be that dancer on stage. My need to evoke emotional responses in others makes me want to be a better dancer. I crave their tears.
When I see someone doing an everyday action like, brushing their teeth I am motivated to turn the simple motion of their arm moving up and down and up and down, into a complex and intriguing piece of choreography. I am motivated to send messages with movement so that others can analyze and perceive my work as intellectual.
I am also motivated to do things by the time crunch.
Blog #3 (Values)
I don’t often think about my values. They come into play constantly throughout my day and help me decide whether I want to do one think v.s. another, but I don’t state them to myself or others. However my first couple of weeks as a student at Southern Methodist University has brought my values to the surface a multitude of times. I have been immersed into an environment that I know little to nothing about and I have the opportunity to surround myself with people and activities that share my values while observing values that are completely different than my own.
I value honesty, modesty and work ethic. I think that if a person can encompass these three things their work will be if anything genuine. When I create work and work with others I want the product equitable, so that even if others do not receive it in the way that I intended, I at least know that it came from a personal truth.
Blog #2 (Work Habits)
When I think about the way that I work, I cannot seem to find a concrete pattern in my efforts. I have however observed that there seems to be a direct correlation between my interests and my efforts. When I am doing something that I love there is a greater motivation that helps me complete tasks. My work habits for requirements is completely different because I draw motivation from the time crunch. I find that I work best at completing a project when it absolutely has to be finished. I like to think that I am just waiting for the right amount of motivation to finish a project effectively, but its just procrastination. I am aware that sometimes my product doesn’t represent my fullest potential when I procrastinate, but it is generally the way that I am able to complete work.
The ways in which I approach dance is completely different from the ways in which I approach academic work. I try to be to every class either on time or early in order to prepare mentally. In class I try to push my body a little further every time I do something. Dance is difficult because you are utilizing your body to create art. I cannot escape my body and sometimes when I am not successful I stop believing in my abilities. Part of the work of being a dancer is believing in yourself enough to progress past your failures. When I fail I will try endlessly to succeed. However I try not work too hard and begin to push myself in the opposite direction. I take breaks and attempt to come back to what I am working on with a new perspective. Trying different approaches is a large part of growing as a dancer and artiste. Changing the way that you look at and attempt to solve a problem can often lead to new discoveries. If anything you may just figure out what doesn’t work.
I am a strong believer in the way that I spend my time outside of dance or schoolwork effects my work. It is important to experience a diverse range of things and constantly try new things. When I am not stretching my body to its limits I try to stretch my comfort zone. Work hard play hard.
Blog #1 (History)
Cayla Simpson was raised on a small farm in New Mexico. She grew up riding horses,playing outside and wasn’t interested in dancing until her mother put her in a creative movement class at the age of seven. Cayla was captivated by movement and felt that dancing was a great form of expression. At the end of middle school Cayla auditioned for The Denver School of the Arts. After her acceptance into their dance department Cayla’s family uprooted from their farm in New Mexico and moved to Denver, Colorado so that she could pursue her dream of someday becoming a professional dancer/choreographer. Throughout her high school years Cayla was fortunate enough to study with various professionals from the dance world and perform on many stages throughout Denver. Cayla is now attending Southern Methodist University to attain a BFA in dance.