Lauren Ashlee Small: What would you say has been your greatest achievement or milestone during your first year in your MFA program?
Hannah Jackson: Honestly, the biggest milestone was getting married this summer! But as far as within the program itself, there were many smaller class assignments that were achievements for me personally because they asked me to do something I was afraid of. But I’m very pleased with a paper I did for the first semester research and writing class about kinesiology for dancers. It required me to grow in both my writing and my research methods.
LAS: What do you hope to learn, gain, or create within your second year of study?
HJ: This semester I’m taking Dance Kinesiology, so I’m really hoping to cement my knowledge of that. I’m also hoping to create a work that I can be proud of for this semester’s choreography class.
LAS: You have had the unique experience of teaching classes at the same university before the MFA program began. What insights have you gathered from being on that side of the learning experience?
HJ: I definitely gained a greater compassion for the professors. You know how it is as a student–the professors’ world seems miles away and their decisions incomprehensible. Having to be on that side, watching how decisions were being made, helped me understand the reasoning behind why our program runs the way it does. It also made me a better student and dancer, especially because my students would watch me in class sometimes. I had to practice what I preached, turnout and all!