Awesome beginnings


First semester completed – it’s been a very dense period of focused activity, study, creating, growing, exploring, (& occasional kvetching).

To reflect on it right away is a bit challenging.  I feel a bit like I would after a particularly busy week/month/year of my just previous version of regular life in NYC (many subway trips, many discrete work units in different places doing tangentially related things).  Maybe this is how my computer feels after I download those full book pdfs for research with twelve other tabs open.


New Vantage Points

I’m excited and intimidated to engage with writing critically and academically again, and to push myself to grow past previous experience and explore new contexts. Dr. Hannah Kosstrin’s Postmodernism class really pushed me to engage with reading and writing critically about the field I’m in the middle of.  The vantage point of contextualizing yourself, your performing and choroeographic experiences, creative impulses, networks, has been a rich place to sit and percolate.

It’s been a breath of fresh air to work with students, both grads and undergrads in the department, to witness their creative work, and to collaborate. I savor the distinct flavor of  “unjaded-ness” in the undergrads’ rigorous, exciting choreography. (I thought Wow! I can harness some of that again too…maybe)

(I simultaneously love and am frustrated by the never ending parade of insular, “made-up” theory words like Aboutness, de-doxify, visibilize/invisibilize, and anything with ness or ize… next project : visibilizing awesomeness in subaltern counterpublics and de-doxifying populist demagoguery –  Look, the times are political and the political is personal and personal is political…)


Favorite grounding, landing places have been a graduate seminar taught by professor Norah Zuniga Shaw for the entire entering cohort (MFA and PhD), and Grad Choreography Workshop for MFAs facilitated by Dave Covey.

With Norah we landed. We shared transition experiences and tips while also checking in about practical skills- PowerPoint, FinalCut, Chicago Style, and had guest visits from Dept. Faculty- getting a sense for their specialties, and really interesting visitors from outside academia – glimpses of various career carvings in the broader field of dance. Most importantly the cohort got to know eachother. I’m grateful for the particularly spunky, smart, resourceful, empathetic, and strong group of artist-scholars I get to call peers.

Here are the MFAs in Dave Covey’s Choreography, or Creative Brain Space Making- getting to know eachother while adjusting to new lives and staying excited about it all – Workshop.

We made space. And painted space too.

And I moved everyday!


Glorious Midwestern Studio Space.

and all the outside of class learning

I went outside!

I  went dancing for fun, witnessed OSU football Saturdays (who knew it was a fashion show) & even had a Freshman vomit on the sidewalk next to me when I was about to eat lunch. (Welcome to OSU!) Perhaps they too enjoy the unbelievable happy hours of Columbus: “Excuse me, I don’t think you charged me, I ordered a beer? ” – “No it’s really that cheap.”


Off to decompress and percolate on the theory, creative practice, physical practice, and general density of experiences and interconnections of the semester – see you next year.


Merry Holiday Festivities to all .

Hope you find as much joy in your decorations as I do in my Charlie Brown tree.


grad school words and nonwords

Simulacrum problematize

Chicago-Author-Date defamiliarize

No Manifesto should/want self/other tag-cloud theorize

semimembranosus phenomenology

Cage ostinato postmodernity

we problematize

all that’s normalized

with words like aboutness, whatness, and other words plus -ness, -ity, and -ize

(also with student health insurance you can go check your eyes)



improvised nonwords

6 weeks in

I’m 6 weeks into a new adventure.

A thought from ballet class:

Once something is required it feels different.

I get to take dance class everyday! This is awesome.  Ah. But now I have to.  

Why does its being required squeeze something out of enjoyment? Like that book you  would have loved had you found it on your own but your teacher made you read it. . . (Or rather I tried to share with students… and they were very unenthused…)

Everyone’s uptight. We’re being evaluated. There’s no dog sitting next to Janet Panetta.  I feel like I can’t be free to just “take class” like I would.  I feel the urge to perform a knowledge of ballet.  To perform that I belong here.  To demonstrate that yes I did my time in technique classes and did Ms. Beth’s Vaganova “and-1s” developpe exercises in a past life and did bad Nutcrackers and wore leotards . . . I’m a professional dammit.

I feel unsatisfied, wobbly. I push everything. I push myself to jump on a day when my knee isn’t feeling up to it. I pay for it with swelling, pain, and the ensuing frenzy  of am I getting too old, did I not do enough, have I missed a magical moment that was never there to begin with? blahblahblah.

And then I chat with the Amazing Karen Eliot, ( there’s something about the name Karen and amazing ballet teachers – but that’s another post ) and answer my own problem with a run-on sentence.  “This mal-alignment issue has been going on for a long time, sometimes it’s painful but I can force my body to just do the thing-  when there’s a gig you just have to do it – but here I don’t. . .”

“You don’t have that pressure.”

“No, I don’t. ”


This particular graduate experience at this particular personal professional juncture-  even and especially in the simplest of moments – the mundane practice of how to take technique class- (let alone literature, theory, new media, meeting new people in new contexts etc.) facilitates space & time to reflect broadly on my practices as an artist, as a woman, as a person.  Habits. Shoulds. Wants. Needs. Desires.

I’m shocked and so appreciative at the amount of time available for diving deeply into a project or reading, for a personal workout at the pilates studio or the pool, for taking a walk and seeing what I see. For thinking about how I think about things. For noticing the sunset.

It’s like I haven’t breathed in seven years. I’m almost afraid I’ll use up all the oxygen.

Ohio Sunset
they make the sky bigger out here