At the University of Maine this coming weekend, the Dance Department is holding our fall showcase. In order to promote the event and help the students get to know the people who help us run this showcase, I chose to do a profile on someone in the Dance Department who I admire. The student I chose was the Tap Club president, Emily “Emmy” Gagne. She is one of the most kind, uplifting, and encouraging people I have met while at this school, and I was very excited to be able to ask her a few questions about dance, herself, and what dance means to her.
What is your name and role in the dance department?
My name is Emmy Gagne, and I am the president of the Tap Club and vice president of the Hip Hop Club at UMaine. I am also a choreographer and dancer for ACDA, a regional conference that our department attends every spring.
Where are you from?
I am from Raymond, ME, about 40 minutes from Portland.
What year are you in school?
I am a senior; I’ll be graduating in May!
How long have you been involved in the dance department?
I joined the dance department my first semester of my freshman year, but I only did Tap Club. After attending our dance showcase dress rehearsal, I saw all of the other amazing dance pieces and wanted to do more! The next semester, I dove in head-first and became a member of all the amazing dance clubs!
What does the dance department at UMaine mean to you?
The UMaine dance department is the best place for creative freedom. I am in the dance studio every day of the week, and it is truly meditative to dance! Additionally, the friendships I’ve created have been irreplaceable. There is such a strong feeling of togetherness. I don’t know what I’d do without my dance family.
What have you learned from being part of this community?
I have learned the importance of collaboration. I cannot express how many times I have been teaching choreography and others have made suggestions to make it better. I am so appreciative of this learning environment; it has allowed me to grow as both a dancer and a choreographer.
What will you miss most about dance when you graduate?
This question has me emotional! I am going to miss the feeling of “home.” I am so comfortable in the studio with my friends. We learn, laugh, and grow every day of the week, so leaving that routine and environment will be so sad.
How has dance impacted your life?
Dance is a method of emotional release. It has balanced me through the stress of college and work. I can walk into the studio stressed out of my mind, but I leave feeling relaxed and ready to tackle my to-do list.
What are your plans for post-grad?
I am applying to PhD programs in the field of Biological Sciences. I am interested in studying how environmental change – specifically, temperature – impact genomic evolution and organismal response.
Besides dance, what do you do for fun?
I love to hang out with my friends, most of which I dance with! I love to read, watch movies, go to the gym, and journal.
Why did you become involved with dance at UMaine?
I left high school and thought my dance career was over. I simply didn’t know about the amazing dance program at UMaine. When I found out about the dance clubs, I thought it was a great opportunity to continue doing what I love!
Lastly, why should people come see the showcase this weekend?
The dancers work towards the showcase all semester for multiple hours a week. So, to be straight forward, it’s going to be good! This is such an entertaining show for absolutely everyone. You really won’t be disappointed.
*all pictures provided by Emily Gagne*