Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Student's Talent Reaches Far Beyond the Stage

School of Visual and Performing Arts

Southeast Missouri State University performing arts major Janelle Alexander has danced her way into the hearts of audiences of dance recitals…of musicals…of theatrical dramas…of sporting events.  In fact, there are few dance venues Janelle’s talent has not touched.   

Her involvement in the Southeast Department of Theatre and Dance has given her the opportunity to perform in several of the University’s spring and fall dance concerts, Dance-A-Palooza, the musical Sweet Charity and the tragedy Trojan Women.  As president of the SEMO Showstoppers, Southeast’s hip-hop dance team, Janelle has performed at several athletic events and competed at competitions at various schools with her dance team.

Janelle recently interned at aTrek Dance Company in St. Louis, Mo., and will soon complete an internship with Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Janelle began dance when she was four years old but switched to cheerleading just three years later, she said.  She eventually missed the freedom of dance, though, and she threw down the pom-poms, returning to dance at the age of 14.  She never looked back. 

“I chose dance because I found I was able to communicate to others without ever saying a word.  It takes me to a different world when I am on stage,” Janelle said. 

Janelle of St. Louis, Mo., chose to attend Southeast because of its proximity to home, but she said the knowledge and camaraderie she has gained in her time at Southeast in invaluable.

“The instructors want each student to succeed.  The experiences I have gained were applied out in the real world and allowed me to learn what it takes to make it as a successful dancer,” she said.  “I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person, dancer and friend.  I have gained great mentors and lifelong friends along the way.”

After graduating from Southeast, Janelle hopes to showcase her talent in Florida.  She says she plans to apply for a permanent position with Disney World, audition for the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic professional basketball dance teams and audition for a few cruise lines.

Janelle encourages Southeast students to get involved on campus.

“There are so many things offered on campus that will better their future, but they will never know unless they are involved!” she says.