Congrats to our 2016 Graduates!
Jasmine Clark: Western Michigan University, academic and artistic scholarship as a double major in dance and interdisciplinary health services.
Jessica Florey: Convenant College, Double Major Psych and History
Amanda Mover: MTSU, Major in Athletic Training
Grace Phipps: Samford University, Minor in Dance
Read more about what Jasmine Clark has to say about her time at FSPA...
My name is Jasmine Clark, and I have been a student at FSPA for 8 years. I just want to emphasize again, that we are so thankful for all of our incredible teachers, past and present, for everything that they have taught us, and the way they have each impacted our lives. Obviously you just saw that they did a great job teaching us how to dance, but all of our teachers bring so much more to the classroom than just dance, so real quickly I just wanted to share with you all, five things that I have learned at FSPA besides how to dance.
The first thing is leadership. I have had the opportunity to choreograph my own pieces on my peers for the last four years, and I have had the opportunity to teach children’s classes the past three years. Through these experiences, I have been able to learn to lead young children, my peers, and even their parents confidently and independently, but also with kindness and respect.
The next thing that the faculty has instilled in me is a lifelong respect for my body. I know I’ve heard our founder, Kaylee, say that you only get one body, so you might as well take care of it. As a result, the faculty has always done such a great job of educating us from a young age about how to take care of the bodies we live in right now and far into adulthood.
I have also really enjoyed learning to think critically about the how’s and why’s of physics, anatomy, and the artistic process. In class we never just learn the step. We always talk about which muscles should work, and why we balance when we disperse our energy throughout our bodies and similarly, we are not allowed to just string steps together when we make choreography, we are pushed to put steps together to effectively tell a story or develop our concept.
I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during my time at FSPA is to respect each of my peers because everyone brings such unique gifts to the group. When I look at the other girls, I don’t think about who’s the best and who’s the worst. I look at them and see “oh you can suspend your jumps forever” and “you can choreograph the most insane formation changes”. In general, we can all look to each other for support rather than competition, and that is a result of the intentional work that the faculty has done to foster the positive studio environment.
Finally, I have learned that the combination of passion and hard work will get me farther than I could ever imagine. Yes, talent is great, but talent is only a small portion of what makes you great at anything. The whole faculty has always pushed me to work my hardest, and filled me with a deep passion for dance, and ultimately, that is what has gotten me to where I am now. This is an especially important lesson for me to carry to college, because reading textbooks and writing papers might not be my favorite thing to do, and it might not be the easiest thing for me to do. But, I will go into college this year with confidence knowing two things: 1. I am extremely passionate about what I am studying, and 2. that I am capable of working really hard, and like I said earlier, that combination will get me farther than I can ever imagine.
So to all of the faculty, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for 8 incredible years here. Regardless of where I go in life, your influence will follow me. "