Life is full of surprises. It can take twists and turns that no one can anticipate, and sometimes that works out for the better.
Claire Novak, a 2002 graduate from Stephens College, majored in theater. She did not know for certain what she wanted to do after college and jokingly said she mostly thought about what show the theater students were going to put on next month. Other than that, she said that she would probably take part in theater internships that would hopefully lead to a stable job.
As it turned out, she did not have an internship lined up after graduation. She felt listless and alone, and she realized she did not really have any future theater plans.
Everything changed when Novak discovered Jazzercise. When she saw the instructor in the room, she knew she wanted to be an instructor, too.
Novak said a Jazzercise class reminded her of one of her theater classes.
“She has a stage? And a microphone? And she can have fun and be engaging at the same time?” she said.
A year later, Novak became a fully-certified Jazzercise instructor.
A regular class is about an hour long and a fun way to get fit and stay healthy. It begins with a warm-up and intensifies as you are “climbing the peak.” Once you reach the peak, the hardest part of the exercise, it ends with a cool-down.
She said that attending Stephens was like her own personal Jazzercise warm-up and that “climbing the peak” was when she was deciding what she wanted to do with her life. She was at the top of her peak when she discovered Jazzercise, and now she is in a comfortable place where she is very happy and feels better than ever. And the fitness is just an added bonus.
“I am not famous. I don’t have a claim. I feel like I’m noticed in the Jazzercise community, and that’s being a star to me…to be fulfilled in your realm of giftedness. What is success? Is being on a TV show only success for theater majors? Not even close!” Novak is proof that unexpected opportunities can happen and that life really can take you anywhere.
Novak said she never expected to be where she is now, and that Stephens helped her feel capable of excelling in her dreams. Stephens helped make her a confident woman who would never give up. She didn’t end up where she thought she would be, but she has no regrets.
Story by senior Katelyn Sterchi