Dance to my Own Beat- I will what I want

This week was my last first week of high school. It scares me to say so and I find myself in hardcore denial of the fact that I am a senior. Senior year comes with not only the heightened pressure to finish your last year of high school with strong grades, but the immense pressure to also prepare and apply for college. For me, the thought of college is petrifying. I feel consumed by this overwhelming fear of not being able to write an amazing college essay and being rejected by colleges, and I constantly find myself believing that I have not done enough or accomplished anything impressive enough to stand out amongst other applicants. Applying to colleges is like trying to sell yourself, an attempt to make yourself look more desirable than the thousands of other applicants, desperately trying to do anything humanly possible to make your resume more competitive. It’s like playing a sport where the rules and requirements are new every game and there is no way to measure if you played well enough to win. This is my big anxiety going into this year, and I know one of the things I am want to make shine through in my application because it is a factor that I believe is central to my identity is my love for music. And it is this love that also led me to choose to do this Arts Independent.

I wanted this project to focus on the multiple areas of music in which my interest and passion is most deeply rooted, particularly highlighting instrumental music in which my primary focus would be the piano and the flute, singing, and dancing. I have been playing the piano since the second grade, and although I stopped taking lessons the fall of my freshman year, I still actively play the piano which holds a special place in my heart as the first instrument I played and as the catalyst to a deeper study of music. After the piano came four other instruments including, most notably, the flute which I picked up as a second instrument in third grade, and since then, it has become the instrument at which I am most skilled. Dance for me can be categorized as both form of musical expression and a sport. Yes it is a sport and I refute any person who believes differently. Case in point, Under Armour is arguably the go to sports brand for everything sports and some of the biggest star athletes have been spokespersons for Under Armour. Recently, American Ballet Theater dancer Misty Copeland starred in the ad campaign called “I will what I want” targeted at female athletes and it went viral. As she danced in nothing but underwear and a sports bra, you can see her extraordinary well-defined muscles rippling as she spins and leaps with incredible grace and power. With this campaign, Under Armour has permanently defined dance as a sport and dancers as athletes. Sorry for the tangent, but it is something that I feel very strongly about.

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As I was conceptualizing my project, I really wanted to find a way to effectively integrate all my areas of music study into a final forum. Although theoretically I could have done a stage performance, I have performed on stage many times, and as much as it I enjoy it, I felt it was important for me to present the material in a form that I had never experienced before. This is why I am choosing to present my final project in the form of several music videos. This will be not only a completely new challenge for me, but I will be able to incorporate multiple elements of music per song. My goal is to create most of the music myself through vocals and various instruments and use that track to create a dance to. There are many questions which are unanswered as to how exactly I am going to pull this off, and while this makes me nervous, I am more excited than anything else. I can hardly wait to really dive into to this project, and while I am nervous for senior year, I will remember the phrase “I will what I want” and just as Misty Copeland strove through rejection until she succeed in her ballet career, I will keep that attitude and positive fire in me as I struggle through the rejection and the fear in order to achieve my college goals.

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