Q & A with Missy Thompson
April 13, 2016
Why do you dance?
I dance because I love the feeling of freedom and expression that dance unleashes within.
If you hadn't been a dancer, what would you be doing?
If I hadn't been a dancer, I would probably still be involved in something active as a career. Before I became a dancer I was a gymnast and coaching/judging was a goal of mine. I could also see myself working with children in physical education.
What other exercise/physical training do you spend time with besides dance classes? How does that help?
Outside of dancing I like to spend time on the elliptical and taking Pilates classes when I have free time.
What types of costumes are easiest to dance in? Describe your favorite costume you've ever danced in. Describe the most challenging/why.
The easiest costumes to dance in are dresses. I have a very long torso so finding costumes that are long enough is sometimes a challenge. It can be very uncomfortable to dance in a costume that is too short! My favorite costume I've danced in would be the Carmina Burana costumes.
What inspires you when you're creating choreography? What is the biggest challenge for you in that process?
When creating choreography, inspiration can come from the least expected places. Sometimes the smallest detail in a picture or a singular word in a conversation will get my ideas going. Most often I am inspired by music and the feeling it creates.
What is your favorite part of teaching dance? What's the biggest challenge? Where do you teach?
My favorite part of teaching is seeing the joy that dance brings students. I teach dance for colorguard programs at different high schools around the city, and most students have never had any previous dance experience. It can be a struggle at first trying to show them how dance, while still difficult, can be so fulfilling and exciting. The best moments come when they start to let themselves go and you can tell that they are really enjoying being in the moment dancing.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
What one piece of advice would you give a student who wants to dance professionally?
Don't give up! If dancing professionally is truly what you want to do, you can't let intimidation get in your way. Take as many classes as possible, work as hard as you can, and don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself trying.