FEATURED WSU DANCE AREA ALUMNI AND UNDERGRADUATE!

ALUMNI | CARRIE LEE MILES

         

  

 

Graduating from WSU in 2000 as the first Dance Graduate with a BA has been quite the honor.  The love and support the WSU Dance Department faculty provided during my studies have still continued to this day.  From instructors to mentors, to colleagues and friends, I cherish each one of these great leaders.  Immediately following graduation my husband and I moved to New Hampshire where he secured a JD Degree in Intellectual Property Law.  During this time I had to step away from the dance world as we now had become parents and goals were constantly changing.  It was a good ten years that I had been away from the very thing that breathes life into my soul.  After stepping back into this wonderful world of dance, I knew that I couldn't let it leave me again.  And it has not left my side since.  I enjoyed some quality time with the dancers at WSU from 2012-2014 as the Moving Company Rehearsal Director in addition to leading the Beginning Modern Dance for Minors/Majors.  It was during this time that I also was involved with the Wasatch Collective under the direction of Amanda Sowerby, wherein we took a company of dancers from WSU to experience a touring performance in San Francisco.  This trip was again a strong building piece between alumni, graduates, current students, and Dance Faculty.  During our time in Ogden, Utah, I also was blessed to work with the dancers at Imagine Ballet Theatre, which in turn gave me opportunities to continue to create and choreograph.  I entered the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival and in the year 2013 I was awarded the Audience Choice for my piece Delirium; in 2014 I received the Grande Prize Festival Winner title with my piece The Bench, the award allowed me to produce my own evening of dance titled Gatherings housed in the Egyptian Theatre located in Ogden, UT.  Again in 2015, I submitted a piece with my partner of Meraki Dance Theatre, Not Alone, which was awarded 1st Runner Up Judge's Choice.  My choreography has since also premiered in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Dance in the Desert Festival over a few summers since our relocation as a family in 2014.  I have since had the opportunities to dance professionally with Kelly Roth and Dancers, secure a very rewarding Adjunct  Dance Faculty position at both College of Southern Nevada and University of Nevada Las Vegas, where respectively I lead a Dance Appreciation class, Choreography, and Beginning Modern.  All of these opportunities have been supported highly by my mentors within the WSU Dance Faculty and I cannot begin to fathom where I would be if I did not have their continuous love and support.  As I write this, I am at another crossroads in transitions.  Our family is relocating to Oklahoma, and I am looking forward to continuing in the dance world there.
 

Carrie holds a BA in Dance from Weber State University where she was the recipient of the Patty O'Neal Scholarship and the John & Vera Eccles Ballet Scholarship. She has worked professionally with Orchesis Dance Theatre, WSU Moving Company, the American Dance Festival (NC), American Dance Festival Association (UT, CO, MT), Aerial Amore (SLC, UT), Wasatch Collective Dancers (SF, CA), the Governor of Utah, Imagine Ballet Theatre, UNLV, and Repertory Dance Theatre (SLC, UT), Nevada Ballet Theatre (Las Vegas, NV).

Carrie's choreography has won multiple awards from the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival, including Festival Champion in 2014. She has presented her work at the Peery's Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, UT, the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre as well as at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall both located in Las Vegas, NV.  Currently, Carrie is currently on company with Rafael Dance (Ogden, UT) and Kelly Roth and Dancers (Las Vegas, NV) and Co-Founder of Meraki Dance Theatre.  She also has enjoyed her Adjunct Dance Faculty Position with the University of Nevada Las Vegas over the past 6 years.

 
 
UNDERGRADUATE | JAYCELIN GRAY

  

 

My experience with the WSU Dance Area has been challenging, but very rewarding. I have gained skills that have not only helped me as a dancer but as an individual in society. During my time at WSU, I've been able to interact and make purposeful connections in both the visual and performing arts. As a performing artist, I find that staying physically active, having a positive and open mind, being socially engaged, and serving God and my fellowmen are vital for me to thrive in my education at school and in life. Settling with a calm, minimally stimulating environment is a comfort zone and an enemy of my progress. Dance never ceases to make me feel uncomfortable. It has led me to make choices and taking risks in the moment. I'm consistently challenged to work with my imperfections, and I'm constantly learning to face my fears and my failures. Dance continues to broaden my perspectives and provide me with second chances. I've endured trying times that have refined me physically, socially, and mentally. I've witnessed miracles of my weaknesses becoming my strengths. Dance has moved me in ways that have enabled me to find healing. Expressing myself through simple, symbolic gestures, and exposing my vulnerable self through raw movement has helped me reveal and delve into an authentic and spiritual way of life. 

When I graduate with my BA in Dance and Art this Fall of 2020, I would love to audition and perform as long as my body will let me. I'm interested in participating in more cultural dance forms. I have a background in Hawaiian and Tahitian dancing, and I would love to perform at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I also would love to do a performing mission. For my Arts degree, I would love to teach art in secondary education and do commission work on the side. My experiences in Ogden include performing in Thriller as a Chucky Doll for three years at the Val A Browning Center, I've danced with the Imagine Ballet Theater for four years, and performed in The Nutcracker at the Peery's Egyptian Theater. Recently, I performed as a dancing shepherdess in NEXT Ensemble's Operatic Christmas Production, Amahl and The Night Visitors, at The Monarch December of 2019. I was also a featured dancer, Jo Jo, and a scab in Newsies ASL at The Ziegfeld Theater Spring of 2020. 

For a detailed look at my dance performance and visual art, here are the links to my e-portfolio's: 

Dance: https://spark.adobe.com/page/sQAQA7O7Dtxo2/

Art: https://spark.adobe.com/page/W7NPsaxGW4JAE/