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Maddie Kolber: Ballerina Gone Hip-Hop Dancer

Sophomore Maddie Kolber has been dancing for 11 years. That’s right — more than half of her life and over a decade. It all started when her mom brought her to a ballet class when she was six years old. Maddie claims that at first, she actually didn’t like it, but eventually she learned to love it. 

“Dancing feels innate,” she explains. “It’s hard to put into words —it just feels natural.”

She continued with ballet for most of her life, adding in a bit of contemporary. She stayed with ballet for the community she was given along with it. When a group of people shares a similar passion for something, as they all did, it is impossible not to form a strong bond; they had been through their highest highs and lowest lows together on the stage. 

While she loved performing and had a strong appreciation for classical music, ballet just didn’t allow enough room for self-expression. She always looked at hip-hop as being “fun and freeing,” and decided that college was the time for her to branch out in the world of dance. Kolber now dances with BU’s urban dance troupe, Fusion. Here, she is “doing something I’ve never done before. It’s been a way for me to find my own style and feel like an individual.”

The group just had a show on Sunday night, and it was majorly impressive. The energy coming from that stage was nothing but love, for each other and for what they were doing. Kolber describes Fusion as a true team, all working together towards an end goal — it’s very rewarding. 

The transition from ballet to hip-hop has brought on a few challenges, as it is a totally new way of moving her body. Hip-hop focuses more on endurance, while ballet placed a lot of attention on posture. While it may be intimidating at times, hip-hop has been “feeding her desire to dance.”

When discussing Kolber’s future with dance, she explained: “I hope to stay in Fusion. I want to keep with it and keep getting better. I want to keep learning about new and different dance communities. I don’t know exactly how I plan to keep dance in my life, and I don’t know what the future holds, but dance will always be a part of it.”


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Emma is an English major at Boston University. She hopes to have a novel published and write for a sketch comedy show one day. In her free time she reads, writes, and paints. She loves to make people laugh and fully believes in aliens.
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