Josephine Schneider

Josephine Schneider’s Goal is to be a Great Dancer and Choreographer

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance | Conservatory of Music and Dance
Graduation Year: 2018

Where is UMKC taking you?

UMKC is creating new opportunities for me to perform. I am auditioning for roles, and I was able to perform in our fall concert as a freshman.

What led you to UMKC?

My dad helped me find UMKC’s Conservatory. I’m from Chicago, and I wanted to find a great program that’s highly ranked. I love all the professors. They’ve worked at professional companies, and I’ve already learned so much since I’ve been here.

“The UMKC dance department has pushed me past my limits, and is helping me pursue the dream I’ve had since I was 5.”

How has your college program inspired you?

The UMKC dance department has pushed me past my limits, and is helping me pursue the dream I’ve had since I was 5. The facility, instructors, fellow dancers and the community have all inspired me to work hard, focus and dedicate myself to becoming a great dancer.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

My first semester here was challenging, trying to figure out how to balance dance and the social aspect of being in college. Since then, I have learned what is important to me and how to prioritize my time, both in and out of my major. I can make the most out of my college experience and ensure for success at the same time.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

The best advice was being told to soak up as much knowledge from dancers and instructors as I possibly can, as well as taking advantage of every outside opportunity. Everyone in the department has great things to offer, and we should learn from one another because it’s hard to find yourself alone.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

I’m proud to be a part of UMKC and the Conservatory. Honestly, I equally admire all of my professors — Gary Abbott, Mary Pat Henry, Dee Anna Hiett, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Ronald Tice and Paula Weber — who have each achieved such greatness in the dance community and are now dedicated to the  success of us in our training. And, whether they know it or not, they have each helped strengthen my technique and shape who I am thus far in my career.

What’s your greatest fear?

Failure is perhaps my biggest fear, and as a dancer I continually work toward overcoming this. I tend to strive for perfection and have high standards. I’m slowly learning to be confident and to learn from failure instead of fearing it. This is teaching me to turn my greatest fear into something positive, and work toward fulfilling my expectations.

What are your lifelong goals?

By the time I graduate, I hope to be seen by a professional company, and my dream is to join a professional company. I also want to become a choreographer. I’ve been choreographing since I was 10 years old.

What motto do you live by?

My professors have given me a great motto that is so true: Dance like it is the last day you can dance. I give everything when I perform.

What excites you?

I love to try new things. I like to keep lists and be organized, so I challenge myself to be spontaneous and do something new.

What got you interested in performance?

When I was little I went to see The Nutcracker with my mom. Ever since, my mom says all I wanted to do was dance.

What has been your proudest accomplishment at UMKC so far?

I was able to enter one of my choreography pieces as a freshman last year, and it ended up being performed at one of our concerts. It was so cool to see my piece on stage.

What is one word that best describes you?

Artistic. I continually find myself being creative in all senses. I like new ideas and new things. I like the expression of one’s self…who we are, how we feel and what we do. I try to translate my artistic expressions into my dance performances. Whether it’s ballet, modern or even in my choreography, it’s important to display the passion and attitude.