Southeast Missouri State University dance student Samantha Fink of St. Louis during the summer of 2012 performed with Atrek Dance Collective at the St. Louis Fringe Festival, took a jazz class at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, attended the week-long Big Muddy Dance Company Summer Intensive, and took master classes with Koresh Dance Company in St. Louis.
“Dance is my passion, my love, my life,” she says. “There is no other career I would rather do.”
Perhaps surprisingly, she had not one of the activities listed in her summer plans; many of them were chosen on somewhat of a whim, she says.
“A portion of one of my dreams, however, to take a class in Los Angeles at the EDGE, was lived out for the first, and hopefully not the last, time,” she says. “By the middle of the Big Muddy Dance Company Intensive, I had to give my feet an ice bath due to the 10 hours (a day) of dance. And, my experience with my first real dance ‘gig’ at Fringe was certainly memorable.”
Fink says this summer was the busiest she has had, dance-wise, so during the school year she is focusing on studying dance, taking classes and rehearsing for the dance concert. Lately, she has been rehearsing between four and nine hours a day on campus with Guest Choreographer Brenna Monroe-Cook.
“It has been intense, but I am benefitting extremely from it, and it has been such an incredible experience,” she says. “I feel that any artist that I can work with before I graduate will increase my passion, give me inspiration and ultimately affect my success.”
Also on campus, Fink works at the Show Me Center Box Office and is involved with University Players, the student theatre and dance organization that encourages participation in and an appreciation of the theatre arts among students and throughout the local community, and the National Honors Society for Dance Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance.
“I believe that I benefit from each of these programs in different ways. Although some of the people involved in each one may overlap, I gain inspiration, motivation and more and more lessons learned every day I spend with each individual,” she says.
Fink says her favorite moments at Southeast include every moment spent with her theatre and dance family. She adds that her time at the University has contributed to her success due to “all the support from my friends, family and faculty members as well as learning to push through, remain dedicated, and stay true to who I am.”
After graduating, Fink plans to go “wherever my path takes me, as long as I am dancing and traveling,” she says.
Fink travels whenever she is not dancing or participating in extracurricular activities; her favorite destination is Barcelona, Spain, and she plans to visit “many, many future destinations (and permanent destinations) to come. Stay tuned!”
While in Cape Girardeau, Fink enjoys antiquing. Also in her free time, she says she gets her creative juices flowing by sewing and creating things from scratch.
Recently “I got an idea to make newspaper bags just for fun, and people began to ask me if I sold them, so I began to do so. I wouldn’t consider it a business or anything, just a hobby, but if anyone is looking for a unique bag, you now know who to call,” she says.
“I hate to be cliché, but get involved with more than just your major,” Fink encourages future Southeast students. “You will meet so many interesting people, much different than yourself, and it can really put things into perspective.”