For most of us, midterms mean stress and all-nighters, but for these five dancers it marks the halfway point for their biggest concert yet.
The Senior Concert will take place Nov. 15-17 in the Macklanburg Playhouse and will be accompanied by a live orchestra.
Seniors LeeAnn Davis, Samantha Bennett, Elizabeth Lamontagne, Jordan Jackson and Samari Preston took time out of their busy schedules to give Stephens Life a little insight into their lives.
Q: How long have you been dancing?
Davis: I’ve been dancing since I was three.
Bennett: I started dance at the age of seven.
Lamontagne: My whole life. I began dance at two years old.
Jackson: I didn’t start dance until I was nine.
Preston: I started at age three.
Q: How much experience did you come to Stephens with?
Davis: I moved around a lot, so I only got to train with the same people for one or two years at a time. I was able to learn a little bit of everything.
Bennett: I danced at a studio in my hometown for 11 years, and I participated on dance teams for six years before I came to Stephens.
Lamontagne: I danced at a studio for most of my life, and I went to summer intensives since I was 10.
Jackson: I actually went to visual performing arts elementary, middle and high schools.
Preston: I have a solid five-to-seven year dancing background.
Q: What is your area of concentration?
Davis: I don’t really have one. I do a little bit of everything.
Bennet: Ballet and some contemporary.
Lamontagne: My concentration is tap.
Jackson: I tend to gravitate more towards jazz dance.
Preston: My concentrations are in modern and ballet.
Q: Why did you choose Stephens?
Davis: I got an invitation to audition in the mail and thought, “Why not?” I was only here for about six or seven hours, and I didn’t know it was a women’s college at the time.
Bennett: I liked that Stephens was kind of close to home and that it was such a small school where I could get individual attention.
Lamontagne: My dance teacher actually went here. My mom also pushed me to audition here.
Jackson: Stephens is fairly close to home. I also knew a few people who went to Stephens, and I could see their growth during their time here.
Preston: I found Stephens online, and I liked that is was small and pet friendly.
Q: How do you feel about the 3 year-2 summer program?
Davis: I do like it. It has its benefits. In the dancing world, you are more marketable when you are young. It also helps to be so well trained.
Bennett: I think it is nice to get out into the world faster. It’s good because there are fewer breaks. Not having the summer off is a benefit because we stay in shape and our training is always fresh in our minds.
Lamontagne: I really like it. Summer dance is awesome because it is so rigorous. We are busy from nine in the morning to ten at night for six weeks. They also bring in really awesome guest artists.
Jackson: I think it is really awesome. It gives you so many more opportunities because you are so young. You can go see the world, start auditioning for jobs right away or even continue school.
Preston: I skipped ahead in elementary school so staying ahead is something I want to continue with.
Q: Do you feel prepared to enter the “real world” at such a young age?
Davis: Yes. It is exciting. At this point, you go out and audition and your fate is somebody else’s choice.
Bennett: I’m ready for a new chapter in my life. There are just so many options.
Lamontagne: I’m scared but not in a way that holds me back. I’m scared in a way that fuels me to go forward.
Jackson: I’ve gotten everything I need from Stephens. I’m scared but prepared.
Preston: I do feel ready and I’m very excited.
Q: What’s next for you? What are your short- and long-term goals after Stephens?
Davis: My short-term goal is to return to Florida and work for Disney. Then I can get some more training while I work. Then in about two years I’m getting married. After that, I want to choreograph. That’s where I feel comfortable. It’s my niche.
Bennett: I’m not sure yet. I might go to New York or maybe go back home. I know that I also want to follow the choreography route.
Lamontagne: No matter what, I want to go to New York. I don’t know what I will do there, but I just want to perform. I’d really like to get on Broadway.
Jackson: I might go to Chicago or New York. In Chicago there’s a jazz company I’m interested in and in New York, there are a few people I know. I want to perform, and it is my dream to dance for an artist like Beyonce.
Preston: I actually plan on interning overseas next year. Then I am going on to earn my master’s in physical therapy. I plan on teaching and choreographing.
These young women have big dreams and the skills to make them happen.
Story by junior Hailey Johnson