Kelly Bryant: Dancing with heart

Date posted: January 13, 2012

I chose to continue dancing at State because I’ve been doing it for so long – it’s something that I really love. It’s kind of that release from the mundane school work. You know, to go and just sweat and have fun and learn and move. It feels good physically and mentally.

My name is Kelly Bryant, and I am a senior in animal science, and I’m actually from Leland, North Carolina. I won the N.C. State University Performing Artist Award, the dance division.

Eventually I want to be a vet. I don’t know exactly what kind of animals I want to work with yet. I’m leaning toward exotic animals. Other options are working with conservation places and things like that.

Being here at State, we get a really, really hands-on education. As an animal science major, we go to all the equine units and the swine units and all that. You know, we touch and feel everything. And I had all that experience with that and I wanted to do something different, and that’s why I applied for the West Palm Beach Zoo internship this summer. I wanted to see how I felt about exotics. And it was so much fun. I kind of wish I didn’t have to leave.

I have a really rigorous major, but since dance is something I’ve done since I was 4-years-old, (it’s) really hard to put down something that you’ve done for so long and that you love so much.

What makes our modern company different from other companies around the country is that our work is really thought-based. We start with a concept and we do actual research on it and we pull from all these different sources and ideas.

We do a movement studies project every year where there’s a prompt, and each student choreographs their own small piece based on that prompt. And this year’s prompt is “a lesson from your major.” And so I am actually choreographing a piece on how to train an aldabra tortoise, because that’s what I worked on a lot this summer. I found a journal article online about how to train aldabra tortoises, which was my favorite tortoise at the zoo.

Our program, NCSU Dance Company, is a really great program because they understand your school work but you also get this really great opportunity to choreograph and to perform and to learn so much that I couldn’t imagine my experience at State without it.

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