NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Folding a piece of paper, Samantha Lindsey, a Stephen F. Austin State University junior, looks downward to avoid watching the two dancers in front of her as they interpret each action and bring her choreography to life.
During the summer, Lindsey participated in the Exchange Choreography Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma — a program of curated dance performances of choreographed works, workshops and networking events designed to foster dialogue.
While in a master class taught by Doug Varone, an award-winning choreographer and director who works in dance, theatre, opera, film and fashion, Lindsey and other participants choreographed a dance by merely folding or playing with paper.
“When I was done choreographing, I watched my creation, and it was honestly the coolest thing I have ever experienced,” Lindsey said. “I remember I couldn’t stop smiling because I had just created this piece of movement without using words or sight. It was this raw, intricate and unique work that I would have never imagined doing.”
Each day during the festival, Lindsey attended sessions where different groups performed. She also performed in a piece of contemporary ballet that was choreographed by Heather Samuelson, an assistant professor of kinesiology and health science at SFA.
A Brenham, Texas, native, Lindsey said dancing has always been a part of her life. She has been trained in various art styles, including ballet, tap, jazz and Broadway.
Currently, she is pursuing a degree in dance and performance at SFA. Participating in the festival was one way for her to extend her knowledge and network with professionals in the field.
“I knew there was nothing else in this world I wanted to do more than dance. The love and support of my dance teachers is what has kept me in class and stopped me from giving up on myself,” Lindsey said. “Dance has impacted my life in so many ways, and I hope that one day I can share my passion with the world.”
To learn more about SFA’s dance program, visit sfasu.edu/kinesiology/104.asp.