Artist Weekly: Erin Roberts

Photo courtesy of Erin Roberts

Photo courtesy of Erin Roberts

Shannon Neu
   A&E Editor

Whether she is tap dancing, coordinating dance concerts or traveling the world to study her art, Erin Roberts’ passion for dance knows no bounds.

A senior in UNCG’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Roberts is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a K- 12 licensure.

Roberts started dancing when she was only four years old.

“I am named after one of my dad’s sisters that passed away before I was born,” Roberts explained. “So naturally when I learned she danced, I had to, too.”

Roberts finds inspiration in the different ways audience members see and experience the same performance.

“Specific movements that might bring me to tears could easily invoke a different emotion, and these responses might not be anywhere near where the choreographer’s inspiration came from,” Roberts said. “Aside from the joy that moving brings me personally, the most rewarding part of dance to me is the people I get to share this art with. Dance creates a community and family unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. Dance allows you to reach depths of relationships that words cannot do justice.”

Many professionals in the world of dance have inspired Roberts throughout her life, but some of her most recent sources of inspiration include Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Paul Taylor.

“Fred and Ginger are iconic dancers from the 1930s who exude class in everything they do. I actually named my new tap shoes Fred and Ginger,” Roberts elaborated. “Paul Taylor is a modern choreographer and his company actually just performed here at UNCG. That performance was an experience that I will not easily forget. He has such diversity in all of his works and can use every inch of space on a stage in such unique ways.”

Emily Stranahan/ the carolinian

Emily Stranahan/ the carolinian

When it comes to her favorite styles of dance, Roberts is most passionate about tap dance.

“I feel it is a dance style that is so underrated, but tap is so hard,” Roberts explained. “It challenges my brain in about 50 ways at one time both as a performer and audience member. I love to be mesmerized by the rhythms and movements. That is not to discredit my love of other styles of dance, but currently, I cannot tap enough.”

Roberts is currently the president of Prime Movers, a social and educational club for dance students. On Nov. 6 and 7, students involved in the club demonstrated their creativity by performing original compositions in the annual Prime Movers Concert. Students performed a wide variety of styles of dance, including tap and hip hop. Some pieces included elements of dramatic theatre and others included poetry. The concert encouraged audience members to consider issues currently facing our society, such as internal and external self-identification and our culture’s infatuation with selfies. The concert raised money for dance students to attend the American College Dance Festival next semester. Roberts aided in organizing this event.

Roberts strongly encourages individuals who are passionate about dance and are considering becoming dance majors to give the program a chance.

“If you love it, go for it. Jump in head first and soak in as much knowledge as you can,” Roberts recommended. “I had some doubts about being a dance major myself, but I came to the conclusion that I need to love what I want to do for the rest of my life. So I decided that I shall dance.”

Roberts hopes to continue to study, teach and learn from dance by pursuing a professional career in the field.

“After graduation, I am planning to move to Northern Ireland where I studied abroad to perform for a couple of years since there is such a young contemporary dance community there,” Roberts said. “Wherever I go I want to teach and continue to grow in this art form.

Categories: Artist Weekly, Arts & Entertainment, featured

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