Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Student Learns New Dance Technique at Summer Internship

School of Visual and Performing Arts
Spotlight_Tochtrop_2009

Southeast Missouri State University student, Sarah Tochtrop of De Soto, Mo., recently danced her way through a week-long internship at Jump Rhythm Jazz in Chicago, Ill. 

Sarah’s dance instructor encouraged Sarah to take part in this internship after teaching her the technique Jump Rhythm Jazz and noticing Sarah’s comfort in the style.

“I gained a very good understanding of this new technique, and it actually gave me confidence with my dancing.  The whole internship was about being comfortable with yourself and the type of dancer you are,” Sarah said.  “It was literally to focus on you and to expand your ability, strength and overall well-being.  I left there with a whole new perspective on life and a whole new level of confidence.”

Sarah and fellow interns took dance classes from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day for a week and showcased all the techniques they learned in a concert the last night of the internship.

“The hardest part of the internship was being open to change.  So many of us dancers develop habits, and this technique really broke that down and put us in our natural healthy bodies,” Sarah said.  “We had to keep an open mind to new movements and ideas.”

“I really enjoyed this internship and would recommend it to anyone and everyone.  I came away with a lot more than just dance experience,” Sarah said.

Sarah will graduate from Southeast Missouri State University in May 2010 with a degree in musical theatre.  She then plans to move to Los Angeles, Calif., to pursue a career in acting, dancing and singing. 

Sarah’s favorite moments at Southeast are her performances in the theatre and dance productions because of the people with whom she gets to work.  She also says she enjoys attending Southeast athletic events and fine arts events with her friends. 

Sarah is a member of The Rescue, a St. Louis rock band.  Each weekend, she performs across the state with them as the lead singer and occasionally plays the piano and tambourine at shows.

“I really enjoy performing to a live crowd.  It is a completely different crowd than the ones at the musical productions at school, so I really enjoy the diversity,” she said.

Sarah shares the following advice with other Southeast students:  “If you are interested in an internship and have done research about it, go for it!  Why not?  Even if you end up not enjoying it as much as you thought you would, you still come away with experience, connections and many stories.”

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