First year student Emma Giordano ‘23 has been dancing her way onto the Muhlenberg scene. As a dancer for 15 years, her love of dance started when she was just a preschooler and was enrolled in dance classes at her school. “I just never stopped after that,” Giordano notes. “I was really lucky to find something I loved at such a young age.” Since then, she has been dancing continuously and cites jazz and modern as her favorite genres to perform.
For Giordano, dancing is much more than just a hobby. She says that dance has “shaped so much of who [she] is as a person,” as well as having taught her many important life lessons. Dancing on a competition team for four years, she truly has dedicated so much time to what she loves to do most.
“Being on the competition team taught me time management, discipline, professionalism and so much more that [continues] to help me in my day-to-day life,” Giordano adds. “But I think the most valuable lesson I have learned from dance, and something I’m still working on, is not comparing myself to others. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is so easy to get wrapped up thinking that you will never be as ‘good’ as the next person. It is so important to focus on how you can work to be the best dancer you can be, while still supporting everyone around you.”
As a theatre major, Giordano expresses interest and enthusiasm in either majoring or minoring in dance and is looking forward to improving her skills and learning during her next four years at Muhlenberg and beyond. She is currently taking the Dance Technique and Performance class and is also involved in the Muhlenberg Dance Association (MDA) and the Moving Stories and Dance Gallery performances. “Even after just a few weeks, I already have a better understanding of my body and dance itself,” she continues. “I love the dance program here!”
For Emma, dance has created a family of which she will always be a part. For much of her life, she has been dancing with many of the same people she has grown up with and will always treasure the memories she has created with them in her heart. She credits her first dance teacher, Miss Monica, as her biggest inspiration to continue dancing over the years.
“The founder of my dance studio and my first teacher passed away a few years ago, and I had been dancing with her for my entire life,” Giordano explains. “She taught me so much about dance, but even more about life. This, along with her passion and dedication, inspires me to keep dancing every day.”
Through dance, she has built lifelong friendships and relationships that she will never forget. While she has many incredible memories from dance, her all-time favorite was when her pieces won first place at her first-ever competition. For Giordano, the “anticipation of awards and getting to celebrate” was so special because she knew that her and her team’s hard work preparing for the competition had paid off. Competing with her team for four years has taught her how to be a team player and work efficiently with others.
She describes her favorite piece, “The Last Leaf,” which she danced with her studio, as “beautiful and powerful.” Being one of the last dances she performed before her high school graduation, she felt a “very strong emotional connection to the piece since the beginning.” One of Emma’s favorite things about dance, particularly this piece, are the stories and emotions that can be portrayed through movement. In this dance, she and about twenty of her teammates each wore fake leaves on their wrists and created a tree together with their bodies. Each leaf broke off of the tree and danced in the wind until they had all met the ground except for one, leaving the message of the dance up for interpretation. She and her dance team performed this dance for two years, and it will always be meaningful to her.
Emma is thrilled to be continuing her dancing career at Muhlenberg. Wherever her future takes her, she “cannot wait to keep learning!”