CarolineCaroline Coker is a senior at Roswell High School, and is getting ready to graduate from our program here at Atlanta Dance Central.  She is a member of the Senior Company of Atlanta Rising Talent, and she also volunteers regularly for the Foster-Schmidt Dance Academy for Down Syndrome.  We took some time to sit down with her and find out more information about this accomplished senior and her journey ahead.

When did you begin dancing? I started dancing at age three.

What is your favorite style of dance? I really enjoy contemporary because it provides an outlet to express emotion in such a unique way. I also love tap because its fun to make new patterns and rhythms using your feet.

What have you learned from studying dance? Dance has taught me so much. I have learned to be a leader and set good examples. Dancing gives me a chance to feel confident and artistic. I have become a more responsible and motivated person through dance. Most of all I have learned that everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way and that accepting people for who they are is the quickest way to be a happier person.

You are part of the student choreography program this year! When did you begin choreographing? The first time I choreographed something that performed on a stage was last year, but before that I participated in several choreography workshops throughout the past 6 years where I choreographed quite a few dances that were simply performed for a small audience.

What is the inspiration for your current choreography piece? My choreography this year is based on the corruption of children that occurs unfortunately often these days. The innocence of childhood is a very precious thing but it seems to be lost at an earlier age nowadays. Older teenagers have no respect for this innocence and have no filter around younger kids. Then the younger kids try to be like the “cool” teenagers and consequentially get into bad things. Children aren’t satisfied with dolls and climbing trees anymore, they instead want iPhones and violent video games. The enjoyment of being a child isn’t enough, and the media and other bad influences take advantage of this and get children into unhealthy mindsets and therefore into unhealthy and dangerous lifestyles.

What is the most difficult thing about choreographing? I think that getting the choreography to really convey your message is the hardest part. The movement and the emotion behind the movement have to be exactly right or the story just doesn’t read. It is really important to pick dancers who are good performers and can make your vision come true and I really feel that my dancers are doing a great job with expressing my fairly complicated message.

Why do you love dancing and choreographing? Both dancing and choreographing are great mediums for expressing your thoughts and views. I love making an impact on people and I truly believe that if just the right person hears your message it can be life changing. Making people feel something is my ultimate goal in choreographing, and accomplishing that would really be an amazing feeling.

What do you plan on doing after you gradute? After I graduate I plan to attend college for either dance or recreational therapy, and eventually get a graduate degree in dance therapy. I would love to teach dance to kids with disabilities, and hopefully one day I can open a studio for visual and performing arts for children and adults with both physical and intellectual disabilities.

We would like to thank Caroline for all of the hard work that she has put into our programs over the past several years, and we wish her the best as she moves into the next chapter of her dance life!

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