Creative Arts Impact Scholarship Winner, Lindsey Jennings

VIDA is proud to announce that a winner of our Creative Arts Impact Scholarship has been chosen! We will be giving Lindsey Jennings $2,500 to put towards her final semester at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in pursuit of her Bachelor’s of the Fine Arts in Dance.

Lindsey is an accomplished student and teacher. She has served as a Student Board Member in the Department of Dance and an Executive Board Member for a student organization called 3spot Dance Troupe. She’s received awards for her academic achievements and has presented visual art in a juried student exhibition at Krannert Art Museum and produced a show with her own choreographic work alongside her peers. Lindsey teaches Creative Dance for Children where she invites her students to explore their imagination and individuality through movement.

We wanted to make sure that our community got to know our winner for who she is beyond her many accomplishments and asked her to share a bit more about herself.

Question: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? Were you creative as a child?

Answer: I grew up in a small town called Mount Sterling, Illinois that has more cornfields than people. My parents encouraged me to try all the clubs, sports teams, and art classes that I wanted to, and I was always drawn to visual arts and dance classes.

Q: How did you become a dancer and what is it about dance that you love so much?

A: I started dancing at three years old and only trained in tap and tumbling for many years before I even started studying ballet, modern, and the other forms I identify with so much now in my college program. I think I have always been drawn to it for the rigor and commitment that it demands, plus the creative expression and alternative ways it’s allowed me to communicate. Dance has always been where I’ve felt my fullest self.

Q: Tell us about the classes you teach and your students. 

A: The class I teach most consistently is Creative Dance for Children (CDFC). I have been an instructor in the CDFC program that is run through our Dance Department at the university for three years. Very recently, I and two of my classmates, have self-started an online format for these classes to offer to families with children during this time of social distancing. The class I teach prioritizes imagination and creative exploration through movement, story-telling, songs, and coloring. My students teach me just as much I teach them, and always remind me to stay curious and playful in my own creative practices.

Q: What has been your favorite class to teach?

A: Although Creative Dance brings me so much joy, I really enjoyed providing as a Teaching Assistant for a modern technique class for freshman dance majors last fall. Movement exploration and curiosity were still driving motors of this class I taught, but I enjoyed being able to support my students, who were only a few years younger than me, in the beginning of their professional dance journeys. It was extremely rewarding to see their physical and intellectual growth throughout the semester.

Q: How do you think dance can change lives?

A: I have witnessed dance change lives in many ways, and have felt it myself. The students in my creative dance classes have been transformed throughout our sessions together, gaining confidence, communication skills, and bodily autonomy. Dance has done this and more for me, and have brought the best people into my life.

Q: How will this scholarship help you build your future?

A: This scholarship is extremely helpful in my ability to pay off my student loans for my undergraduate degree. Paying off these loans earlier will help me launch into my career as a professional artist, as I plan to re-locate to New York City this fall. Eventually, I will pursue my Masters of the Fine Arts in Dance, and this scholarship is only helping me to get one step closer to this life goal.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds as she completes her studies and embarks on the next chapter of her life. But from what we’ve seen so far, the sky is the limit.

We are now accepting new submissions for our Creative Arts Impact Scholarship.