Dancing for joy after third scholarship win
For Jada Pearman, the hardest thing about dancing is believing in herself.
So a scholarship from the National Dance Foundation gave the 20-year-old a major confidence boost last week.
“I think dancers are perfectionists,” said the winner of the $7,500 BF&M bursary. “We can be our own worst enemy, wanting to be perfect all the time.
“It is always a wonderful feeling to know all my hard work has been noticed. It’s great to know that people back home haven’t forgotten about me. It was my third year in a row winning the award, so I must be doing something right.”
Now a dance and business major at the University of Arizona she started dance lessons as a toddler at In Motion School of Dance.
She still remembers one of her first recitals at around 5 years old.
“I did one dance to the Pink Panther theme song,” she said. “I had a lot of butterflies in my stomach.”
She still gets them.
“Before a performance I am this bundle of excitement because I can’t wait to share what I do with the audience,” she said. “I have to calm myself down so I don’t get the shakes.
“Once I start performing all the tension just releases. There is no better feeling than dancing. It is what I love to do.”
She decided to become a professional dancer at 14, in the middle of dancing a piece choreographed by In Motion teacher Candice Musselman.
“All of a sudden I just thought, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
Ms Musselman helped her apply to the Grier School, an all-girls boarding school with a focus on the arts, in Pennsylvania
“I am really grateful to her and In Motion for that,” said Miss Pearman.
While at Grier, she took part in the 2014 Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, California. The event was held in the McCallum Theatre, which seats more than 1,000 people.
“That was the most exciting thing I’ve done,” she said. “It was in such a beautiful theatre. and the crowd was amazing.”
She returns to Bermuda every summer to help at her old dance school.
This year she taught a summer intensive at In Motion and danced with former students at a school production and at the America’s Cup. She also worked as an intern at Butterfield Bank.
“Dance is a hard industry because it has a lot of demands,” she said. “Even when I was at In Motion I had to miss a lot of social events with my friends because I had to go to rehearsals.
“When I went to Grier I missed out on graduating with my friends and going to prom with them.”
Her next performance will be next week at the Exchange Choreography Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When she graduates she hopes to join a professional company and travel the world.
“Then I’ll see where life takes me,” she said. “If it means coming back to Bermuda and teaching at In Motion or starting up something myself, then so be it.”
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