Katelyn Graham: Dancing through her studies

In college, it is all too easy to develop tunnel vision. Your classes, teams or clubs become your world.  But balance is crucial and you can find it by mixing disciplines.  Have you considered incorporating new elements, like the arts, into your life?  Art can be easy to neglect if we are not exposed to it with frequency. However, living in a divided society, some forms of art and expression are able to bridge even the most menacing of gaps.

Katelyn Graham, history major and dancer

Honors College student Katelyn Graham recognizes this and has managed to incorporate the art of dance into many aspects of her life, even as a history major. Not only does Graham take dance classes, but she is also a cast member of Purdue’s Contemporary Dance Company, as well as an assistant director, director and coach of several other performance opportunities in the community.

In addition to classes and other commitments, Graham is currently serving as one of the assistant directors for “X Works,” an opportunity which provides students the chance to cultivate creativity and take part in producing a professional show. As assistant director, Graham is learning the ins and outs of putting on such a show.  On top of assistant directing, Graham is also responsible for directing the upcoming Xperimental Concert in April.  As opposed to a professional show, Xperimental is a concert that presents works that are new, unfinished, raw, experimental, or simply have no other place to be presented.

As if playing a role in directing two shows and performing in another wasn’t enough, Graham also assists in coaching the dance team at Central Catholic High School.  She says she’s sincerely enjoyed the opportunity to coach and create choreography for the team, which is composed of girls with many different backgrounds in dance. Graham herself has been dancing since she was only four years old and says dance has become everything to her.  In fact, she claims she cannot recall what life was like before she found dance.

“As a student, I cannot tell you how good it feels to walk into a studio and leave the rest of reality behind,” Graham explained.  “It’s a healthy escape from stress, fatigue or a bad day, and I highly encourage everyone to take a class not only to help their physical well-being, but their mental health.”

In all the years she has committed to this unique art form, Graham says only positive effects have ensued.

“It’s cathartic really,” she added.  “As a person, it’s definitely made me more well-rounded. Music, anatomy, math, physics, design, fashion and communication all come into play in dance, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.”

This experience is not unique to Graham.  Dance is a universal art after all. It transcends race, gender, socioeconomic status, geographic location and age.  And there are many ways for you to get involved, whether it’s through taking courses, attending performances or even taking dance fitness classes at the CoRec. The real question is, why not? Graham asserts that being involved in such an open and influential art is something she will forever be grateful for.

Do you have something that rounds out your life, something you couldn’t imagine life without? There are many opportunities to try and experiment with all forms of art on campus, and you may never know unless you explore.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~Pablo Picasso

Learn more here: https://www.cla.purdue.edu/dance/