Blog: Brandywine's Ballet Bag!

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  • Kirsten Mohl - West Chester University Ballet Certificate Student

    Hello! My name is Kirsten Mohl, I am 18 years old, and have been dancing with Brandywine Ballet for 7 years. Here’s a brief summary on why I chose to attend West Chester University and continue dancing with Brandywine Ballet.

    When I was deciding on where to go to college there were many factors I had to consider. I knew that I wanted to go to a school that not only had a good science department but also a great pre-med program that could help get me into good medical school. I knew that I wanted to stay within a couple hours to home. Most importantly, I knew that wherever I went, there would have to be a dance studio nearby. I travelled all along the east coast, touring many colleges, and decided on one that was 10 minutes from home and 5 minutes from the studio - my second home.

    I began dancing at the age of 5 and haven’t stopped since then. It is a crucial part of who I am and I knew that no matter where I went, I wouldn’t be able to give it up. It was my whole childhood and shaped me into who I am today. So much so, that it was the topic of my college application essay.

    Within that essay, I explained what it’s like to be a little ballerina, looking up to all of the older dancers. Watching how they take corrections during class, how they perform, how they treat their friends. For me, I especially loved learning all the older dancers’ choreography, in hopes that one day I would get to perform it - even to this day, I am guilty of doing that. Then I explained what it’s like to become that older dancer, to become a good role-model that a younger self would be proud to look up to, to be the one that is getting the roles that I once dreamed of getting.

    I mention this essay, because it was a key part in my decision to stay. I kept thinking about leaving the studio and it never felt right. I wasn’t ready to let go quite yet. There were still roles that I wanted to perform, more friends that I wanted to make, more technique I still needed to learn. That is where the Certificate in Ballet Program came in.

    Through West Chester University, I would be able to get my undergraduate degree and would also get to continue dancing with the same people, the same studio that I grew up with. I learned about this program in middle school when I was talking with one of the older dancers. She not only did the Certificate Program through Brandywine Ballet, but was also a part of the pre-med program, getting her degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She is the one that inspired me to consider the Certificate Program as well as becoming a doctor.

    Starting this fall, I will be attending West Chester University. Through the Pre-Med Program, I will be getting my degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology and through Brandywine Ballet, I will be getting my Certificate in Ballet.

    This year, I am very lucky to be performing in shows that are all favorites. Our fall series is a repertoire of Carmina Burana, Never-Ending Road, and Colour Brillanté. Without delving too deep, I can say that Never-Ending Road is true contemporary ballet, Colour Brillanté is a powerful showcase of the strength and grace of ballet, and Carmina Burana proves how well dance can capture deep emotions - ranging from ecstatic to sorrowful.

    In winter is The Nutcracker. Both a holiday favorite and a personal favorite. To finish off the year, we will be performing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the spring. This show is always so much fun for both the dancers and the audience. For anyone that would like to take their kids to a ballet (which is something you should definitely do!), I highly recommend this one - cute songs, colorful costumes, and fun choreography. A perfect family show!

    I am very excited to be returning back this year. Getting the opportunity to not only get a good degree but also dance with the studio I grew up with, is something that I will forever be grateful for. Plus, I am thrilled to be performing in all the shows that we have lined up for this year. Choosing to stay with Brandywine Ballet was definitely the right decision!