Happy Monday morning, Framers! This is the final installment from Dance Source Houston‘s Stephanie Todd Wong. They just launched a new website, so after you read this fabulous advice, head on over and check them out!
Surrender to the Process
A few parting pieces of advice…
- Immerse yourself in the place and program. If you going dedicate the time and money, you might as well make it worth your while. Don’t hold back.
- Try to enjoy it. You’ll be exhausted and stressed, but try to maintain some perspective and have fun.
- Luxuriate in the structure. Once you finish, you’ll be forced to create structure for yourself, which isn’t easy. So enjoy it while you can.
- Be okay with being overwhelmed. It’s going to happen, and it’s okay. This too shall pass.
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’re going to spend a fair amount of time outside of your comfort zone, get used to it. And if you’re not being pushed there, you’re in the wrong place.
- Embrace your colleagues. They will become some of your closest friends and collaborators. They will most likely also piss you off and annoy the hell out of you at times, but that’s part of their charm.
- Challenge yourself and allow yourself to be challenged. Be wiling to hear what your professors and colleagues have to say about your work. This can be exceptionally difficult, but necessary to true growth.
- Challenge your professors and colleagues. You should take this time to question everything and everyone. Nothing is sacred.
- Take risks. You will never have a safer place to fail. Make use of it.
Stephanie Todd Wong moved to Houston in 2008 after spending ten years in Washington DC as a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and dance administrator. Stephanie holds a BA in Dance from Mercyhurst College and received her MFA in Dance from George Mason University in 2004. While living in Washington she was a dancer in the Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, which performed in various locations in DC and New York City. She also had the privilege of working with Lorry May, founding director of Sokolow Dance Foundation to learn and perform Anna Sokolow’s The Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter. As a choreographer, Stephanie’s work was presented at both Joy of Motion and Dance Place. Stephanie also spent time teaching dance and worked to create a high school dance program for The Flint Hill School in Vienna Virginia. Beginning in 2007, Stephanie began working for Dance/MetroDC, the local branch office of Dance/USA, serving as its Programs Associate and ultimately its Interim Director. In this role she was responsible for creating and executing all the organizations programming, including the Metro DC Dance Awards, a region wide awards program that took place at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Stephanie became Executive Director of Dance Source Houston in 2011 and currently sits on the Advisory Board for Arts + Culture Magazine and an Affiliate Working Group of Dance/USA.