August 2016 was my last month of residency in Wisconsin until further notice. Why? Because I will be going to The Ohio State University! I will study what I should have started with from the beginning of my collegiate career; Dance! (for more information check out my website Jazelynn.org).
As you could imagine, many people were excited for me. Others rather confused. Where I come from not many people, let alone black, pursue a higher education degree in Dance. So when they see me prancing around with my acceptance letter they can’t but wonder my future.And as for me, at times, I feel the same way. So we end up in these lengthy discussions to where I am proving myself. or doing a mean eye roll.
In theses discussions, there are 3 main topics are addressed.
The first, “My Degree.” I am pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from The Ohio State University. Yes, you can major in dance. No, I am not getting a bachelor’s or a Ph.D. (even though the Ph.D. sounds cool) but a Masters of Fine Arts. Yes; dance is a Fine Art, just like music,art, and theater. Fun Fact: Dance became a Fine Arts degree in the 1960’s.
Next,”Course Work.” The classes that I am required to take will get me acclimated to the department’s standards and rigor. Outside of the required course, I will explore technology, education pedagogy, choreography, and technique. Also, I will dive into Higher Education and African American studies to diversify my curriculum.
Finally, “The Future.”They ask me questions on my job prospect and well-being. I get really upset because they try to limit me to certain genres (that’s a topic for another day). But, OMG, I will have job opportunities when I graduate. I can be an educator to a creator. I can work for a company or create my own. I will obtain some sort of employment in my field. I do not know where I’ll be, but what I do know is I’ll be GREAT!
If they try to go any further than these question I politely excuse myself. I made a vow to myself to not allow people to defer me from my dream. I’ve done this far too long!
Words cannot express how excited I am to learn side by side with these amazing people. Each one brings such a, independently unique perspective to the environment but there is a connection to one another and how thy grouped us. Currently, we are in our 6th week of school and I must say, in my opinion, the bond and care for one another is reassuring. I’ve never felt so supported in my academic career for a long. To come to a huge institution and work with a team of individuals who not only care for themselves and future opportunities but take the time out to see about you is breathtaking (and a little shocking).