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Senior Spotlight Series - Gabby Erickson

Gabby Erickson is graduating from Desert Hills High School. After graduation she plans to study Dance Education at Utah Valley University. Gabby is the winner of the 2020 National Dance Education's Organization Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award. View her award and submission choreography here.

I first auditioned for the Desert Hills Dance Company heading into my eighth-grade year. At the time, I was very new to dance. Most girls my age had been dancing since they were young and seemed to advance much farther and faster than I did. I lacked technique, training, flexibility, and all the things that I thought I needed to be a successful dancer. However, I did have drive, passion, and creativity. So when I didn’t make it on Dance Company my first time, I was determined to try again. A year later, after taking dance classes and learning more about the elements of dance, I tried out again and made it.

Today, I can happily say that I have been a consistent member of Dance Company for four years. It has become my home, my passion, and my escape. On Dance Company, I have had the amazing opportunity to explore the artistic side of dance through choreographic experience and performance. One of my favorite experiences I’ve had on Dance Company was the process of choreographing my first piece my Junior year. I was able to learn so much about my choreographic and teaching style. I also came to appreciate creativity in a new way because of my crucial involvement in each individual step of the process. I remember watching my dancers perform from backstage just behind the curtain. It was unbelievably beautiful to look back on the origins of my vision and recognize its evolution into the completed production. From choreographing the first steps in my basement to conveying the elements of dance in rehearsal, I learned of the potential that every idea has to turn into something unexpected and beautiful.

As a dancer, I’ve come to understand the importance of commitment. Over the past four years, I’ve developed an unexpected passion for creativity and choreography that has been strengthened by the effort I put into it. I’ve found that when I try my hardest, I don’t have anything to regret. My advice to young dancers entering High School would be to take advantage of every opportunity you’re given. Challenge yourself to pursue and develop passions; don’t underestimate your potential, you have more than you think. 

Six years ago, I was a mere beginner, I’ve come so far since then. I went from not making it Dance Company in 8th grade, to choreographing for the Utah High School Dance Festival my Senior year. I know now that it takes passion to succeed. In addition, I owe so much of my success to the skills that I’ve learned from my teammates and coaches on Dance Company. I am incredibly grateful for the experiences that dance has given me, I would not be the same person I am today without them. For me, dance will always be a cherished outlet for creativity and expression. I hope to be able to share it with others as I continue to grow as a dancer and individual.

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