Garet Wierdsma - Judges' Choice August 2017

I am a student at The Dance Slipper with Brenda Barna.  I have been dancing since the age of 2, and began training seriously when I was 12. I am going into my senior year of high school at The Ethel Walker School, where I am a member of the varsity-level dance company. I am also a student at Connecticut Concert Ballet, where I do additional training in ballet and pointe. I travel to New York City to take class at Broadway Dance Center at every chance I get. I spend my summers dancing at both American Dance Awards nationals and at many dance intensives, and most recently I attended Nutmeg Conservatory. I train in ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop, and acro. I love every style of dance, but if I had to choose a favorite I would pick ballet or contemporary. 

Brenda Barna, the choreographer of Widow's Walk, found this piece of music and was the brain behind the story. I have been working closely with Brenda in classes, group pieces, and solos for many years now. I love working with her because she always challenges me in both my technical ability and in expressing the story in every piece I do. 

For me, the best part of competitions and conventions is the exposure you get to other dancers. I have countless memories of sitting in the audience watching another dancer on the stage, and feeling unbelievably inspired by their work. Without competitions and conventions, I never would have realized how good I could become. Seeing other dancers challenges me to work harder and to be the best I can be. Not to mention, the friendships I have made both within my own studio and with dancers from other studios will last a lifetime--the dance world is small, and I have a feeling I will continue to see many of them as we move into the professional industry!

I love dance for so many reasons--but in the past few years I have realized that the key reason I love dance is because of its communicative aspect. By simply using the tool of movement, you can tell a story or communicate a message that will have an impact on someone else. Dance is truly a universal language.

At the moment, I am working diligently on my college applications. I am planning on being a dance major and hoping to earn my BFA. I cannot wait to see where dance takes me next!

I can be followed on Instagram at: garetchesleigh

Thank you so much!