Samantha Moody, Edith Barnes Award

Majors: Bachelor of Art in dance, Bachelor of Arts Communication in Public Relations (concentration in technological and digital communications management)

Minor: Arts management (through New College)

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Experience at UA: Being a member of Yonder Contemporary Dance Company during the 2019/2020 year was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at the University of Alabama, both in and out of the classroom. Yonder is a preprofessional company that incorporates work from students and faculty in the Dance Program, the School of Music, the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and the Department of Creative Media. As one of the 15 dancers in the company, I had the opportunity to take part in the creation of an original full-length concert. Class served as our rehearsal time, as well as a time to learn about topics important to professional dance company members, including marketing, fundraising, and grant writing. These lessons, in addition to the fact that I was able to serve as one of the PR Chairs for the company, allowed me to combine my Dance and Public Relations majors and delve into the field of arts administration.
During the spring semester, Yonder Contemporary Dance Company toured our concert, False Awakenings, regionally throughout the southeast. On these tours, I not only had the chance to get a taste of the traveling company experience, but I also got to partake in community outreach through the classes we taught to young dancers at each tour location. We even had opportunities to perform at the American College Dance Association‚’s regional conference in Lexington, Kentucky and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were not able to make these a part of our tour, but the fact that they were opportunities nonetheless speaks to the value of the Yonder experience.
On top of all this, I think what sealed the deal with making Yonder so memorable for me was the small in-between moments. It was the collaborative company discussions, the warmups in our matching socks before a tour performance, and the laughs in between running our piece during rehearsal. The sense of camaraderie amongst the company members was what made our time together truly enjoyable, and I am thankful to have been a part of it.

Favorite Class: This is more of a genre as opposed to a specific class, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my ballet, jazz, and modern dance technique classes. Generally, I am a pretty active person, so on the most basic level, I simply enjoy the opportunity to get moving in the beautiful space that is the Clark Hall dance studio. I also know every single class I attend will teach me something new, whether it is a combination, a technical correction, or even an aspect of my own body movement that I’ve yet to consider. These technique classes, in conjunction with my participation in departmental concerts each semester, have had a great impact on my development as a dancer over the course of four years.

Future Plans: Following graduation this May, I will be working, though as of right now I am unsure of where this will be. I am currently searching for a job, investigating both dance and public relations-related opportunities. I am also investigating careers in the arts administration field, which would potentially allow me to combine my passions for dance, communications, and graphic design.