Campus Profile: Jacob Murphy

Name: Jacob Murphy

Year: Freshman

Majors and Minors: Biology Major (Pre-Veterinary)

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Involvement at Xavier: Residence Hall Council, Student Ambassador at the Office of Admissions, Intramural Referee, friend to everyone.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I dance USA DanceSport, and I’ve won Nationals 10 times. I’ve also won three World Championships as a United Country Western Dancer. I’m taking a break right now because my dance partner is a year younger than me and we are going to different colleges.

What is your favorite type of dance?

Jive. I’ve always loved watching the old Jitterbug dances and Jive is the closest thing to it. I like the song choices with Jive. Whenever I competed I got to listen to that older music that I love and dance my favorite dance. I also love Samba, because I love to shake my hips. Apparently, I am very good at it.

When I was in the Dance Sport class here at Xavier, I demonstrated the correct way to do a basic Samba step and of course, I used the technique that I had learned from my dance experience. The other students were surprised that I could move my hips in that way.

How did you get started in dance?

I started dancing when I was seven. My mom took dance classes after my parents’ divorce because it’s been said to be therapeutic, and she brought me along to the classes. There was another woman there who brought along her granddaughter to class, and they decided to see if we would dance together and we did. After that I started taking dance lessons. It was very coincidental.

In 2010 I took a couple month break from ballroom dancing and I started doing ballet after I saw the Louisville Ballet Nutcracker. When I saw the Russian dancers, I told my mom that I wanted to learn how to dance like that. I did the same thing with tap dancing after I saw Singing in the Rain.

In 2010 I went to Bravo Dance Studio in Louisville, and the partner I was supposed to have broke her leg playing soccer. So I got partnered up with someone else who was taller than me by a foot (until I finally hit my growth-spurt). We started competing and danced together for seven or eight years. It was really fun, but it was also a lot of work. I had a hard time balancing my other commitments with ballroom dancing.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while leading a tour?

As a tour guide, we have to learn how to walk backwards very well. So, naturally, I have no idea what’s going on behind me unless my group tells me. One time we were walking on campus, and my group got quiet all of the sudden. I kept walking backwards and I literally bumped into Father Graham, the University’s President. My group and President Father Graham all broke out into laughter.

What is your dream job?

Because I’m a Louisvillian, Churchill Downs and the Derby have always been a big part of my life. I chose pre-veterinary because I absolutely love animals. I want to be an equestrian veterinarian. My ultimate dream job would be being a vet for Derby horses.

Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

What I always say at the end of my tours is that applying to college is really stressful, so you should take a moment and relax after choosing your college; it’s really needed. The same applies to freshman year because college is much different from high school. In high school you’re in class all day, but you get a lot more “free time” in college. You need to learn how to use your free time properly, because it’s not actually free.