Q&A with Mila Thigpen, Day Sessions: Dance Program Director
What is the most important idea or skill that you want participants to take away from this program?
I designed this program around experience more so than skill. We have amazing faculty who are highly skilled in the dance styles they teach—I know that participants will increase their skill level by the end of the program. What I wish for each participant is to find a new connection to dance.
What can students expect from this program?
Day Sessions: Dance is an intensive program culminating in an informal showing at the end of each week. Participants can expect to be challenged by teachers who care about their individual growth as dancers while also having a lot of fun along the way!
When did you know you wanted to pursue dance as a career?
I think I knew for most of my life that I wanted to pursue dance as a career. When I was younger I dreamed of being a backup dancer for a major pop star. Now I am really proud and honored to be the director of Day Sessions: Dance.
What is your favorite dance style?
My favorite dance style depends on my mood. I love dancing salsa as a way to connect with people. Sometimes I turn to a good ballet barre as a means of self-reflection.
Who is your dance role model?
I have so many dance role models! Phyllis DeWeese was my dance teacher when I was about the same age as our Day Sessions: Dance participants. Mrs. DeWeese encouraged me to do my best and to believe in my own abilities and potential. She also made sure I had multiple dance experiences—like taking dance classes in different styles and giving me various types of performance opportunities. She was the best!
What is your favorite Day Sessions: Dance memory?
One of my favorite Day Sessions: Dance memories is watching a group of dancers taking a selfie together. The image reflected to me that the dancers bonded so strongly in such a short period, that they wanted to document a special moment for them. One of our staff members captured them taking the selfie.