Tori Breen ’17: A New Look at Dance

Tori Breen
Tori, a rising junior and WMS dancer, shares her experiences both near and far from home in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. 

Tori considered the following questions while writing her blog submission:
1. Can you share some news about what you are doing this summer? 
2. Are you doing something that reminds you of something you learned or experienced at WMS? 
3. Do you have any new outlooks on learning or life that you’ll bring back to school?

“This summer, I am working part time at Meadowstone Farm (in Bethlehem), where I spent last summer volunteering. An interesting connection to WMS is the sustainability focus, and seeing some of those principles in practice.
I am also tutoring two kids in ballet, the same two kids I taught last summer. It’s been great to see them develop as dancers over the year.
In the beginning of the summer, I went to Indiana University for one week for a ballet intensive. Yesterday, I got back from the Bates Dance Festival (BDF), where I was for three weeks. It was an absolutely incredible experience. I learned so much and improved my dancing. The non-competitive community there is a rare find in the dance world, and reminded me in many ways of the WMS community.
Another connection was the emphasis on social activism. At BDF, we talked at length about making dances that are meaningful and important, and about using art to create change in the world. In particular, Sean Dorsey, an amazing and innovative choreographer, was there, and had the east coast premier of his most recent work, The Missing Generation, which is about the AIDS epidemic in the US. Taking repertory class from him everyday was truly an honor.
Some life lessons from BDF include a more open mind about everything that dance can be and what dance can do, as well as a more holistic, less superficial approach to understanding dance technique and performance. 
One of the photos is of me with Sean Dorsey and his dancers. The other is of the whole group of us at the Young Dancers Workshop at Bates Dance Festival.”
Thank you, Tori, for sharing news of your busy summer! We hope you enjoy the rest of the break, and we look forward to welcoming you back to class at WMS this fall.

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