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Faces of the CVPA: Shannon Comerford ‘15

Shannon Comerford

Shannon Comerford as photographed by Elizabeth Dreher

Dance major, Shannon Comerford, is our featured student for the 2013 Fall Exam Week. She recently co-choreographed a piece for Informance 2013 with fellow student Ashley Dobrogosz. See how Shannon answered our ten questions about being a dance major, her choreography and her thoughts on being a cat (if she were an animal).

1. What inspired you to pursue dance as your major?

A. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, and I always knew that this was something that I wanted pursue later on in life. There was no other option for me. Dance is my life.

2. Did you always know that you wanted to study choreography?

A. When I was little I used to listen to the songs on the radio and imagine what a dance to a particular song that was playing at the time would look like. I almost always listened to music with the mindset of yes, this would make a great piece, or no, I don't think I could work with this. So, I feel like the drive to create pieces and make choreography was always there for me.

3. What is your favorite thing about being a dance major?

A. My favorite part about being a dance major is doing what I love on a daily basis. For most majors you have to take general requirements before you can actually take your major classes, but in the dance major you jump right in. Being able to study dance at school is the greatest feeling.

4. What is your favorite thing about choreography?

A. I love choreography because I like voicing my own opinion through dance. When you're dancing someone else's piece you're representing their thoughts and choreography, but when you create your own you have a chance to get really personal with it and make something that's special to you.

5. How many performances have you been in and what type of performances were they?

A. At Radford, I have participated in several different performances and danced both in faculty and student works. I have been involved in both Informance and the Student Choreography Showcase, performing student made work, and I have been in the main stage faculty shows, Fall Dance Fest and Dancing on the Edge. I also had the opportunity to perform Bob Boross's choreography at the NY Jazz Choreography Project.

6. How does it feel to perform in front of a crowd of people?

A. I love the rush you get when you're in front of an audience. Even if you can't see them, knowing that they're there makes you want to give it your all and perform to the best of your abilities. Performing gives me an adrenaline rush that I can't get anywhere else.

7. What types of music do you prefer to dance to?

A. I love dancing to a variety of different music. If I'm doing a jazz piece I enjoy more upbeat songs with a strong backbeat and if it's a modern or contemporary piece I normally gravitate to something softer and more acoustic sounding.

8. What are your plans for after you graduate?

A. I would love to land a performing job after I graduate, but I also love teaching and choreographing so I would be fine if I got to do both. My goal is to start auditioning several places next year and hopefully something will fall into place.

9. What inspired the theme of your piece in Informance 2013 that you co-choreographed with Ashley Dobrogosz?

A. Ashley and I didn't have a set concept going into this piece. We knew we wanted to do something dramatic so we listened to a lot of different songs and fell in love with this piece of music from the movie “Atonement.” I personally had always wanted to tackle a period piece and we decided that the music had that 1940's feel to it, so we decided to go for it. It was then that we developed the idea of wives during WWII. With the typewriter featured in the music, we decided to focus on wives waiting for a letter from their husbands overseas.

10. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

A. If I could be any animal it would probably have to be a cat. I actually hate cats, but I think that's because we're so similar. I can be very standoffish, I like to be alone, but I also love attention and respond well to compliments. :)

Dec 9, 2013

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