This interview features Lauren Holler, Politics & Government and Dance Theater Major at Ohio Wesleyan University, ‘15.
Annie Evans: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Lauren Holler: I am a dancer from Cleveland, Ohio and will be graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University this May. I am interested in using dance as a mechanism for social change and enjoy bringing political theory to the stage. My piece “Motivating the Middle” was presented for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival East Central Conference in March of 2014. Most recently, I danced professionally with Seven Dance Company, a contemporary ballet company, in Columbus, Ohio from January 2012 to December 2014. I plan on combining my interests in public policy, law, and dance by attending law school in Fall of 2015.
AE: How did you get started in dancing?
LH: I started dancing when I was three years old and have loved it ever since. I received the majority of my training from Revolutions Dance Academy in Broadview Heights, Ohio where I danced competitively for over ten years. I have training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap, and hip-hop.
AE: When did you realize you also wanted to be instrumental in arts for social change?
LH: I’ve always had a drive to make my community a better place. I believe art has the ability to connect with people in ways that other forms of socialization cannot. Artists and dancers that have inspired me include Augusto Boal, Donald McKayle, Eleo Pomare, Bill T. Jones, and Jenn Freeman.
AE: What brought you to New York Arts Program?
LH: I was looking for a capstone opportunity to finish out my last semester of my undergraduate education. While it has been difficult and unusual studying off campus my last semester before graduation, my internship has truly enabled me to combine my interests in dance and politics.
AE: Where is your internship?
LH: I am interning with Battery Dance Company located in Lower Manhattan learning about arts administration and nonprofit management.
Battery Dance Company conducts extensive cultural diplomacy efforts. I am currently analyzing statistical data to determine the impact of the company’s Dancing to Connect programs overseas.
AE: What’s one of the most valuable things you’ve learned in your time with NYAP?
LH: Through my internship I’ve learned so much about other cultures just by being in the office. Learning more about cultures other than my own has been invaluable.
AE: What is your favorite thing about living in New York City?
LH: I love being around all of the art! There is always so much to see and do.
AE: What is something that has surprised you while being here?
LH: It’s so dirty everywhere!
AE: What advice would you give to students interested in NYAP?
LH: If you have the means to participate in the program I highly recommend it. The program provides many opportunities to grow as an artist and a person.
To learn more about Lauren Holler, go to her Website at http://laurenholler.weebly.com!