People

 


Alumni

Emory Dance alumni answer questions generated by current Emory dancers, capturing how their own body knowledge has evolved since Emory.

Their stories will inspire and motivate you!

 

Photo by CedarBough Saeji

Christine Suarez, '94
Theater & Film Studies and English major

When I was at Emory, I danced for everyone. I think for one concert I was in four pieces. One of favorite dance classes at Emory was taking choreography from Sally Radell. One assignment we made site-specific work all over campus – that was the first time I considered where dance can happen. After I graduated I spent the summer at the American Dance Festival and then moved to New York City to dance. I spent 12 years there: collaborating with directors, actors, dancers, and musicians. In 2006 I went to UCLA to get an MFA in choreography. I still in live in Los Angeles and have an active creative life as a teaching artist, choreographer and performer. I co-created a dance program for severely mentally ill veterans at the West Los Angeles VA. I am very fortunate that I now make my living from my dance and choreography training. I have always seen dance-making as an opportunity for social change and creating community. Though I dance differently than I did as a 20 year old (a lot less jumping and flexibility), I am so grateful for the foundation that I built with the faculty at Emory. Thank you, Anna, Lori, Sally, Sheri, and dear Aldo Melito. For more information about Christine, please visit her website: www.suarezdance.org.

Photo by Bobbi Jo Brooks

Blake Beckham, '01
Dance and English major

The Emory Dance Program launched me into a career as a professional dance artist, giving me both the technical grounding and loving nudge I needed to adventure into the life of a choreographer, educator, arts administrator, and Director of my own production and performance company, The Lucky Penny.

While studying at Emory, I received more than personalized instruction - I received authentic mentorship that nurtured my creative voice and gave me the confidence to take risks and persist as a dance-maker. I learned to cultivate a value system that has become the foundation of my life as an artist: to work with fierce intention, with kindness, and with an ever-deepening spirit of curiosity. It was at Emory that I discovered my passion and my agency.

Many students come to Emory because they both seek and aspire towards excellence. They want quality instruction and rigorous training to prepare them for a life in which they can make a positive impact through research, entrepreneurship and service. The Emory Dance Program gave me all these things, and more. What I ultimately took away from the Dance Program were life-long gifts: they expanded my lens for seeing and inquiring, and empowered me to take part in the magnificent and transformational process of shaping our culture.

Rose Caudle, '05
Dance major

When I was a student at Emory, I auditioned for everything and everyone and created my own "programs" by taking my passion for performing to share dance around the campus. We called it fun and random dancing and we practiced our improvisation class exercises in the roundabout at the center of campus each week. It gave me a way to express my love for dance and performance with the Emory community. I also reached out personally to guest artists who attended to let them know my interests and desire to be an active participant in the Atlanta dance community and to ask for any advice or tips. It was always important to me to openly talk and share with others how important dance is to me.

After graduation it was never an option for me to not dance, but if anything, I started saying no to friends or people who couldn't pay for performances and rehearsals and began seeking out companies that did. I did get some work doing musicals and teaching dance to kids, but it was hard to take jobs that were not as personally appealing. I wasn't willing to continue doing projects where I felt my personal values were being sacrificed, so I went in another direction. I got more administrative jobs and danced in my free time for projects that were inspiring to me.

Currently I work as Studio Manager at CORE where I get to meet artists of all genres who use our space for rental and classes and also get to use the studio for rehearsal space and teaching yoga!

Natalie Metzger, '07
Dance and Theater Studies major

To get the most out of my Emory dance experience, I tried to be involved with as much as possible. I packed my days full of classes, rehearsals, and workshops; I only said "yes". After graduating a year early from Emory, I took a year off to work in the theater world. I then started my MFA in Dance and Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts. After graduate school, I have continued choreographing for the stage and directing dance films, as well as teaching dance at a local college.

Dance and film have combined in a really wonderful way in my career. I have always been fascinated by the body and its abilities. Dance was a clear way to explore this, but film allowed me to bring the audience right up to the body to see all of the intricacies. It was a natural progression for me. When I make dance films, the integration is clear, and even when I make narrative films that don't include dance in an explicit way, the influence is still very clear. When I'm working with actors, I focus a lot on body language and having them show, not tell. My background in dance and choreography is essential for this. I also find that my ability to shape space through choreography has translated easily into creating the frame with cinematography. It's all interrelated in my mind.

For more information aobut Natalie, please visit her website: nataliemetzger.org