I am living right in the heart on mid-town east! The subway is just a few blocks up and I can be anywhere in the city in 40 minutes. New York has really awesome markets and concerts going on during the summer. I really love going out on the weekends and walking down the 5 block long open-air market. There are so many handmade crafts and different foods to try. One of my favorite things I have done this summer is sit in the park with friends listening to a free concert. I have also become a regular at the french bistro across the street from my apartment for Saturday brunch. The caprese avocado is by far my favorite! I also made it my mission to try all the different flavored eclairs from the eclair bakery around the corner. So far I have tried a bunch and my favorite are the dark choctaw and the mixed berry come in a close second.
One of the most beneficial skills I gained from the experiences this summer was navigating public transportation. I did not have a car in the city and had very little experience with public transportation. As silly as it seems, being able to navigate the subway and bus system by myself has really given me the confidence to be able to live in a city more permanently by myself. I am also coming out of this summer with a deep understanding of practical goal setting. The mental aspect of dancing each day for 8 hours really is much more challenging than the physical. While overcoming muscular soreness is hard, but achievable, getting out of bed every day at 6:15am and being fully mentally present in each and every dance class for the entire day was much more difficult. So I learned to set very specific and achievable daily goals for each class. Some days my goal would be to improve a skill on a certain side and some days my goal would be to simply not yawn in class. But setting these goals made every day feel like a step forward versus a step back or stagnation.
After spending two months dancing in New York this summer I have decided to apply for graduate school right outside the city. I will be applying to a Dance and Movement Therapy Master’s program in hopes of working with children with developmental disabilities. I am also hoping to continue to study the rich history that underlines modern dance and eventually audition for the Martha Graham Certificate Program and become certified to teach the technique.
My biggest advice to students seeking what they want to do after graduation is to ask yourself the question- do I want to be rich in experience or money? I do not personally think the question has a right or wrong answer, but is something I had to ask myself multiple times this summer. I know being a professional dancer or even a dance therapist, I will never be rich in money, but I have loved getting to be rich in the experiences I have had this summer and the people I have met because of this profession. Every day I am surrounded by incredibly passionate people who have a hunger to create and I am constantly inspired by them.