Karely Molina Martinez staff writer
From being up on stage performing to behind the scenes choreographing, senior Jasmine Singer embraces her passion for dancing through deep, moving choreography.
Training 12-13 hours a week, Singer finds new opportunities to express herself through dance and choreography, including her current ongoing project, choreographing for the theatre company’s musical “Brooklyn.” Singer enjoys choreographing because it allows her to get creative, “movement is my way of expressing myself in a way that words can’t.”
“Dance has always played a huge role in my life,” Singer said. “Hopefully I will be able to combine a career in dance and choreography. As much as I enjoy choreographing for others, I still love to perform. I hope that if I have my own dance company someday I will be able to both choreograph and dance in it.”
Her latest piece, “Wait for Me,” was initially choreographed for the theatre department’s “Broadway Night” fundraiser. The piece, inspired by the hit musical “Hadestown,” focuses on characters from Greek Mythology to convey their message of love, fear and doubt. Singer relied on the musical’s use of strong emotion when choreographing her own piece.
“In general, whenever I choreograph, I am very emotionally driven when I come up with my movements. I like to tell stories with my dance and my choreography. I love how movement and physicalites give such a deeper meaning and another level to stories and emotions that go through them,” Singer said.
Dance teacher and artistic director of Dance Company Dana Findley acknowledges the power that Singer is able to convey through dance.
“It’s hard to take what you do for yourself and expand it out for multiple dancers,” Findley said. “Her junior year having the opportunity to create a piece with a larger group and then this year, her senior year having the opportunity to really dig even deeper into emotion and create a piece from at home for our virtual concert, just shows her growth as a choreographer. She really knows how to tap into emotion, and her audience then feels that.”
After training for many years, Singer has adapted to multiple styles which allow her to maximize the number of elements incorporated into each of her pieces.
“I think what’s amazing about Jasmine is that she is fabulous at every style, and that is indicative of the training that she has,” Findley said. “She has a wide variety of training and dance styles, even though there may be a style that is her favorite, she’s trained in so many of them so she has honed her skills in a myriad of styles.”
Those around her, like theatre arts instructor and director Karen Chandler, notice the growth progressed by Singer as her training expands.
“Jasmine’s ability to analyze plays, analyze musical theater and then move forward in telling the story either while she’s on stage dancing, singing, acting or choreographing others, has just really exploded,” Chandler said. “If somebody called me and said, ‘Hey I really need someone to choreograph a musical,’ I could recommend her, even to an adult group, easily.”
While Singer favors a career in dance, Chandler considers her a “triple-threat” because of her range of talent in the elements of musical theatre.
“She does it all. She dances, which is probably her strongest of the three: singing, dancing, acting, but I would say acting is 100% her second strongest suit if not equal to her dancing,” Chandler said. “Jasmine is, besides being an excellent performer as well as an actor, singer, musical theatre, and of course dancer, she’s also an incredible choreographer.”
Though Singer’s talent through dance may be the most visible, there were times where it wasn’t clear that dance would be her future and Singer often questioned whether dance was the right career path for her. After an unforgettable experience, Singer realized that her passion would not only continue through dance but through choreography as well.
“For a while I was convinced that I was going to stop dancing. I didn’t enjoy the meaningless movement that was given to me by the teacher I was working with and I was ready to give up,” Singer said. “Right before I was going to quit, I went to see a[n outside] dance company perform with my mom and I will never forget my amazement that night. There was something about the way that their dancers moved that made me want to be just like them. They inspired me to keep dancing,”
With college decisions right around the corner, Singer is making sure that she picks the right school for her by factoring in her dance, “It will definitely be the deciding factor when I’m figuring out what my plan will be for next year.”
“I originally picked schools because of their dance departments so I would be happy at any of them. Honestly I’m not sure which one I would pick if I had the option, they all have really great qualities,” Singer said, “I want to study modern dance and choreography so my decision will definitely be based on the school’s dance program. Although the location of the school as well as if they offer business classes will also be influencing my decision.”