When was your last duh! moment?

MFA Mondays


MFA rightI feel confident in assuming that each and every one of us can recall a moment or time period in our lives that influenced the way we think about and approach not only our craft but our daily lives. I am not referring to the small whispers found throughout each day that allow for development or the evolution of the creative process, but the big ones. The AHA moments that come on suddenly and bring about a lasting change. The moments that shake you right down to your very core and make you see things, ideas, concepts in a new light. Most often these changes are recognized immediately as if being hit over the head with a duh! stick, but sometimes the AHA moment may become a process of its own.

I do not feel it would be a stretch to describe graduate school as a series of AHA moments. You are challenged daily to push yourself outside of your assumed abilities, to think in ways you dare not

photo by Lynn Lane
photo by Lynn Lane

explore on your own, and to constantly and consistently re-evaluate every decision and choice you make. Graduate school, by nature, produces lasting knowledge that may influence your approach to the craft and your personal life.

Graduate school did just that for me. Upon graduation, I did not walk out the front door with a secret portal to all the answers. I was not magically transformed into this all-knowing dance creature that held the power to full understanding. I simply carried with me a toolbox overflowing with ideas, techniques, approaches, and a new way of looking at two very important ideas.


  • What is your intention? How do you make that as clear as possible?
  • There are no right or wrong answers; only clearer choices.

At first glance, you might think these concepts to be automated. If you have taken a composition class, you may have heard these concepts yourself. Seems obvious, right? I not only base my composition course off these two ideas, but encourage my students to find a connection to them in technique class as well. However, I have found the most profound moments are when we take these basic concepts and apply them to our daily lives.

What are some AHA moments that you carry with you? Have you heard my AHA moment concepts before? If so, where?

 Amy Elizabeth, named one of Houston’s 100 Creatives and Top 10 Choreographer in 2013, is currently an adjunct dance professor and artistic director for Aimed Dance since receiving her M.F.A from Sam Houston State University. Her work has been presented at DanceHouston, Dance Gallery Festival Texas, Houston Fringe Fest and venues throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona. Additionally, she has had the privilege of setting works at Lone Star College, Rice University, Lamar High School and will be working with San Jacinto College Dance Ensemble this fall. Stay in touch at www.amyelizabethdance.com.