Emily Masse, a Boston University senior, grew up dancing in a competitive studio and taking extensive classes in many genres of dance such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and modern. Coming to college, Masse continued her love of dance by trying out for the Boston University Dance Team (BUDT), a competitive Division 1 team. On her choice to try out for the team, she says, “Trying out for the BUDT is hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Credit: Emily Masse
As a senior, Masse is now co-captain of the team, but she did not get to this position without working her butt off. Over the past few years BUDT has undergone many changes regarding the administrative side, the size of the team, and their style of dance. Being captain for the team at this time definitely has its challenges, but Masse chooses to use the recent changes on the team to start a “new era” of BUDT and change it for the better. Masse’s personal goal for the team is “to give ourselves permission to reach our full potential.” She adds, “I want every girl on the team to throw away any fear or any doubt during every practice and every performance, whether it’s half-time at a basketball game or on the Nationals floor.” Trusting yourself, but more importantly trusting other people on your team, is a huge component of dance, and Masse doesn’t want people to forget that while the team undergoes a big change. Instead, she wants everyone to focus on themselves as dancers.
As a junior, Masse was secretary of BUDT. As secretary she took on roles such as fundraising, organizing events such as Agganis Arena clean up, crowdfunding, and communicating from the administrative side of the team to the other members. Being on the executive board helped Masse become the leader she is today and hone in on some skills necessary to be an empathetic leader. Masse says, “A major advantage of having been on Eboard before stepping in my role as a captain is having the chance to learn from our mistakes. After having a leadership position on the team last year, I could reflect on what worked and what didn’t.” Masse strives to acknowledge her imperfections and use them to create a better dynamic between the Eboard and the rest of the team. She says, “I think leaders who try to present themselves as perfect can be intimidating figures.” Masse believes working on her imperfections and being comfortable to express them to her team is a key part of what keeps the team so strong.
Credit: Emily Masse
To any girl that wants to take on a leadership role, Masse advises, “Don’t wait until you have the title to be a leader.” Everyone can be a leader and a role model in their own way, and being this strong character can be an integral part of any team or club. When you eventually choose to run for an official position, by leading individually everyone will already trust and have faith in you because you’ve been a leader all along. Secondly, she believes it is important to trust yourself. Even if your management style is different than someone else’s, that doesn’t make one better than the other. She leaves one final piece of advice: “Trust your instincts and be confident in your abilities.”
And finally, how does she manage to be so involved and still have time for an interview? Masse shares some of her tips on time management: “Stay organized! I start every week by writing out what tasks I will do on which day. For me, just thinking about everything I have to do can be super overwhelming, so I find it very helpful to break tasks down into smaller components.” Masse is grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities provided to her by BU and the Boston community, it is important to remember that the obligations associated with all of the extracurriculars are incredible opportunities that she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. You need to remind yourself “to be grateful for those opportunities and enjoy the chaos. That positive mindset motivates me to get the job done.”