Shannon Hartle - January 2017 Judges' Choice

I graduated from high school early to attend the Joffrey Ballet School Jazz and Contemporary Trainee program in NYC. After training there, I decided to further my education and I am now a sophomore working towards my BFA in dance at the University of Iowa. I love working with the amazing professors and graduate students. I have also realized my love for teaching and I'm getting involved with local dance studios, the University's Youth Ballet program and giving private lessons.

I would like to acknowledge my early teachers, Missy and Emery Uyehara, at Capital City Dance Center in Urbandale, Iowa. I owe them for my excellent training and technique. I also would like to thank Ramon Flowers who choreographed the "Fire Dance." Lastly, I would like to thank all my professors who are teaching me and challenge me every day.

I am inspired to dance simply because it makes me happy. There is nothing better than walking into a room with people who share your love and create together. I also love pushing myself to see what I can do next. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

What you saw in the video is actually a segment of a much larger piece. There were four dancers and we represented the elements.  My movements were to be quick and fleeting just like a flame.  As I mentioned above, the choreographer is Ramon Flowers who is a very accomplished performer and is a current graduate student at the University of Iowa. 

The process of learning this piece was mostly based on Ramon's direction. There was very little collaboration on movement with the exception of counts. He taught us a phrase of movement with no counts and then he played the music and we decided how the phrase fit. Although there were four dancers, we never all danced together doing the same thing. It was solo oriented. The performance was at the Space Place theater on the University of Iowa's campus. 

My future plans are to continue dancing for as long as I can! I just want to be involved with this expressive art form. I would love to dance for a contemporary ballet company and then go on to teach!

Thank you again for taking such a great interest in my dancing!