Q&A: Matthew Robinson – Outstanding Senior in Dance

Matthew Robinson during the Spring 2017 Commencement

Degree: BFA in Dance, Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Abingdon, Virginia

Q: In your years here, what has been your greatest challenge?

A: The same greatest challenge everyone faces wherever they are in life. Finding your own personal balance of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of living, which takes on a whole new form in college when dealing with assignments, grades, lack of sleep, and social pressures in an entirely different environment from wherever you were before Radford. It's especially hard because what might work as a healthy balance for one person won't work for you or someone else, so you have to figure out yourself what makes you, as an individual, succeed at how you want to live.

Q: If you had to pick one moment, either a best moment or most transformative moment at Radford, what would it be and describe why?

A: All three of the years I've spent here have combined into one continuous, transformative moment, so I could not really select any part which changed me the most – it's been one, long, evolving process.

The best moment for me wasn't a single instantaneous event, but a moment which occurred sometime toward the end of my second to last semester (Fall 2016) when, for the first time since I began dancing and decided to pursue it as a career, I actually felt some confidence in my dance and training that I would be able to secure a job after graduation. It was a good feeling although kind of scary.

Q: What advice would you give to new students coming into Radford?

A: Find people you can rely on when you need them. College is difficult and having friends and mentors is incredibly beneficial. Meet and develop a rapport with professors and guidance/advising faculty. Reach out to other students in your classes, down the hall in your dorm, or in your major. Of course, there are always people unwilling to respond back, but I have found Radford's student body to be particularly open to making friends, and it's wonderful to have people to spend free time with (especially if you have limited free time).

Q: What are your upcoming plans after graduation?

I have one more performance with Radford University in May at the Langley NASA Research Center, and then I will be moving to Cleveland, Ohio, in June to begin an apprenticeship as a dancer with the Dancing Wheels Company.

May 11, 2017
Leslie King