Saint Robert, Mo., native and dance major Chance Hill, who had never danced prior to attending Southeast Missouri State University, was awarded a scholarship to attend Duke University’s American Dance Festival, a prestigious summer program that has trained some of the best dancers in the country.
At Southeast, “I found something I love and will do for the rest of my life,” he said. Chance considers attending his first technical dance class at Southeast his favorite moment in college.
“I saw an amazing amount of potential in him and have encouraged him ever since to pursue dance,” said Southeast dance instructor and choreographer Hilary Peterson. “His hard work and dedication have paid off, and he will have a great experience this summer taking classes from some of the best teachers in the world.”
Chance has already danced in numerous productions in the Donald C. Performance Hall at Southeast’s River Campus, including the recent performances “Indigo,” “Lazing by the Seaside” and “Denim is What You Wear” from the dance showcase, “Spring into Dance.”
At the American Dance Festival, he will be a full-time student taking three dance classes a day in various dance genres, including contemporary ballet, modern and hip-hop. He will also have the opportunity to audition for the dance concert at the American Dance Festival. Each weekend he will be able to watch a show from a different famous dance company, such as Paul Taylor Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Company and Pilobolus Dance Company.
When he is not dancing, Chance devotes his time to philanthropy.
“I volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoy every moment that I get to spend with my little brother,” he said.
Chance considers himself a normal student who takes advantage of the options Southeast offers.
He encourages students, “Get involved with whatever you can. There are so many opportunities at Southeast, and you just have to take them. Don’t settle for anything.”
His future plans include traveling to Stuttgart, Germany, where he was born, to dance.
“They actually have a marvelous ballet company,” Chance said, referring to the Stuttgart Ballet. “It was like dance and Chance were meant to be.”