Hey I’m Laura Witsken. I am a Dance Major and Business Minor at The University of the Arts. I grew up in Springboro, Ohio with my mother, father and twin sister. Growing up I had always done everything with my sister by my side. We played football, soccer and did gymnastics together and it was not until I was 8 years old that I decided to take a different path. I found my own passion to dance and since I have continuously worked hard to strengthen my technique, expand my knowledge and become a unique artist.
Moving from Ohio to Philadelphia has been a positively altering experience. When planning my life for after high school I knew that, without a doubt, I wanted to move to the city because of how stuck I felt. I was tired of everything being entirely expected. In my mind, Philadelphia meant spontaneity and freedom.
When going home for winter break, I did not realize how sad and actually quite happy I felt to leave the city for awhile. The constant ring of sirens, begging people on the streets and the relentless routine of each day had gotten to me. Home is safe, quiet and familiar. During my time home, I realized that always being safe, quiet and familiar would prohibit me from reaching my dreams. I pulled myself back out of my shell and came back to Philadelphia with new sight. I have grown to love the energetic buzz this city makes me feel, and as an artist, I find inspiration from this incredibly diverse city every day. Here in the city I can take chances. Here I can live by impulse. Here is where I can make my dreams happen.
I have been introduced to many different styles which has helped me discover how I like to move. I have grown to love the structure of ballet, the freedom of contemporary, the rhythms of tap and the sass of jazz. Through my training at the South Dayton School of Dance I had the opportunity to perform as a member of their pre-professional company which led me to win multiple scholarships to various dance summer intensives. During these intensives I had the opportunity to meet working professionals in the dance field, work on my versatility as a performer and add my own touch to my technique. These opportunities have fostered my desire to become a professional dancer.
Photos by: Geek With A Lens Photography
Along with dancing, I have also been demonstrating and teaching dance for many years. I loved having this opportunity because I got to know each student personally. This helped me to motivate them to overcome their individual struggles and express themselves while incorporating technique to dance in a safe and healthy way. I was also able to be mentored by older dancers and help younger dancers through a Big and Little Program incorporated in the South Dayton Dance Theater. This program was made to spread positivity among company members through celebrations of birthdays, motivational posters for performances and theme days throughout the year.
Photo of my little sister, Maddie, and me on Twin Day last year
Helping children has always been very important to me because I enjoy being able to positively shape how they view the world. Motivating a child to dream, helping them deal with life’s struggles and being a person they inspire to be means the world to me. Even now I have continued to help children by becoming a mentor in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I will also have the opportunity to reach out to a new audience, fellow college students, through my positions as a Peer Mentor and a Resident Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year at the University of the Arts.
The University of the Arts Student Leaders of 2016-2017. I am in the front row, second to the left
In these positions my goal is to help students transition into college life with ease and create fun activities that will bring together the many incredible artists in this school. After graduating from The University of the Arts, my dream is to be a professional dancer in a touring company. While touring I hope to simultaneously have the opportunity to meet and mentor others to pursue their passions.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org