master of dance

Well, friends…as of a week ago, I’m officially a Master of Dance.

Master KapDaddy, that is.

So much has happened since I moved to Brockport three years ago…

  • I learned how to have an opinion
  • I learned about dance analysis
  • I found my faith
  • I lost two of my grandparents
  • I learned how to not be a good long-distance friend
  • …by learning how to become a good long-distance friend
  • I adopted a kitten
  • I danced for two professional companies
  • I was awarded distinguished honors through the University
  • I turned 25
  • I finally started to identify as an adult
  • I danced and presented work at the American College Dance Festival
  • I also danced and presented work at the inaugural Rochester Fringe Festival
  • I learned how to boil noodles
  • For that matter…I learned how to actually cook real food…
  • I stopped calling Michigan home
  • I learned how to stand up for myself
  • I’ve maintained a (just about) three-year-long-distance relationship
  • I learned how to accept small victories
  • I guess that means I also learned how to fail
  • I learned how to forgive
  • I performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
  • I witnessed my favorite undergraduate professor retire
  • I discovered how delicious vegetables can be if you simply roast them in the oven

I started this blog

...context clues...

at a crossroads, it appears

I know that deep down, I’m still me (KapDaddy from the block), but although I may have the same exterior, things on the inside have definitely changed.

I’ve realized that up until now, most of my life has been spent striving for something –usually something someone else has recommended. I always considered myself to be a proactive type, but really, I was the most reactive person ever to walk the face of the Earth. Mr. Oklahoma often says in his technique class, “…just try it on…” I guess you could say I’ve tried quite a bit on since moving to New York, and three years later, I’m just flat-out tired.

I’m sitting here in Becket, MA writing this post, trying to decide if I ever want to experience FOMO ever again in my life. (I just felt it about five minutes ago when I noticed a close friend got a gig that I wasn’t invited to participate in…) Do I even get a choice? I feel like the only way to avoid FOMO is to live life with clear intentions; well my intentions happen to be a little blurry at this point, probably because my perspective is a little blurry. I’m pretty sure the logic of these sentences may even be a little blurry.

The good thing about spending 25 years unsuccessfully trying different personas on is that I’ve been able to distinguish quite clearly what fits well enough and what just isn’t me. I was always taught that you teach people how to treat you…I guess I never considered that you learn to care for yourself based on the way those same people actually end up treating you…or at least I did. I’ve learned, or rather, I’m learning to accept that just by being, I am enough. I never have to try anything else on if I don’t want to –I don’t have to strive anymore.

I know that graduating can oftentimes feel like such an overwhelming landmark for change–hence going to grad school straight out of undergrad in hopes that I wouldn’t actually have to grow up. Puh! I guess now I view graduating as beginning rather than end, maybe even a marker of all that I want to pursue for myself. In some ways I feel as though I’ve just recently started to figure out what it is I actually want…who I want to be…where I want to be…

This Is Major has allowed me to share in the ups and downs of life as a dance student in higher education. While I’m still a dancer, and I’m still engaged in higher education, my goals for this blog will inevitably reflect my shifting perspective.

Oh…public service announcement, I’m staying in Rochester to teach next year!

I want to make a difference. I already told you guys, I know. But I like…really want to do things with my life that matter. As I spend the next three months in the Berkshires writing press releases and hosting journalists as they view incredible dance performances on two of the most historic stages in the country (put the puzzle pieces together, people), I want to figure out how exactly I’m going to change the world. I don’t want to simply make a difference – I want to make a substantial difference. I think I want to intentionally empower people through dance.

So vague, I know.

I share this with you, because this is a community of support…is it not? I’m planting the seed, and you’re all here to witness the growth. Here’s to new beginnings. I have no idea (today) what’s going to come, but I’m optimistic that it’s gonna be good!

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5 thoughts on “master of dance

  1. So I don’t know if this helps, but this past year I started an after-school dance team at the school I taught at, and just by doing exactly what you would usually do at a studio you impact underpriviliged kids’ lives so, so much. Like, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’ve seen several kids do a complete 180 turnaround just in this year. I think it sends the message that they’re worth just as much as the white suburban kids who take dance for granted, which is not a message they get very often. If you want to change the world through dance, this works, for real. The only problem is if you REALLY want to make a difference, you’ll be working with kids so poor that you won’t be able to make any money. I charged $30 for the YEAR for my kids (for costumes), and some still couldn’t pay. Maybe you can figure something out with that Master’s of yours, though :) Anyway, just thought I’d share! I’m sure you’ll come up with something excellent and life-changing!

    • nichekaplan4 says:

      That’s incredible, Blaise! Yeah, I’m definitely in this transitional period of trying to just figure it all out. I’ve been married to this MFA-program for enough time that it seems I’ve completely lost all touch with the world.

      Thanks for the suggestions! – Hope you are well!!!

  2. Mrs. Vater says:

    Thank you Master KapDaddy for providing THIS IS MAJOR blog, to also include those of us who fall within the “non-dancer” community. Each time I check-in to read your blog, a light continues to shine brighter and brighter, allowing me to appreciate the language you call, dance. I’m intrigued to learn more about that space between concert and commercial dance? I search for the quiet space between an idea and a decision all the time. That is where the truth lies.

    I, admittedly, am one of those people referring to this wondrous, historical stage as Jacobs Ladder. Your continued reminder, “it’s Pillow, not ladder” is perhaps that seed you intended to plant. Many seeds are being planted without us knowing.
    The press releases’, YouTube, and this blog have intentionally empowered me to want more. More understanding and appreciation of your dance community.

    Audience members such as I, would like to pay admission; sit back and enjoy the performance, Perhaps worth noting: Take a moment and reflect upon what you just saw. The challenge is to find that quiet place between the choreographers intent to the final presentation. That may be the place for each of us to gain our own understanding of what we saw.
    More importantly, “Do I feel empowered through dance?”. TBC!!!

  3. Sherie De Franceschi says:

    I enjoy reading your blog. Congratulations on all your accomplishments.

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