Ava Wichser is studying dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.
How did you discover your passion for dance?
I discovered my passion for dance when I first started dancing at a serious level, but every day I find more and more passion as I dance. There is so much to achieve and there is always room to push yourself and expect greater things. Always reaching for more sparked my passion.
What's your favorite thing about performing?
When you perform, it is the only thing that matters. Being completely present and sharing your art with others is indescribable. Knowing you have to put every ounce of yourself into that one moment is what I love most.
What’s the greatest challenge of performing?
The challenge of performing is not letting my nerves outweigh my excitement. … With all the hard work I’ve put into rehearsal it’s hard not to get nervous. But the best things come from opening yourself up to creativity.
Why did you pick UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance?
I picked UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance because of the amazing opportunities provided to students and the range of faculty. No other college stood up to the intensity and seriousness that UMKC has. I knew UMKC would help me become the dancer that I wanted to be and that I would be successful once I graduated. I also like UMKC’s well-rounded and technical curriculum, and that they balance that with creativity and a sense of student independence.
What’s been your favorite part of the program at UMKC?
My favorite part of this program has been the number of student opportunities. Faculty members encourage and support students to try everything that is offered to them. No student is limited. The faculty members are personable and want to see their students succeed. Each faculty member knows me and my habits, every class is personalized, and the professors make you feel as though you were one of their own.
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance has opened an incredible number of doors for me. This program prepares you for life’s hardships and failures, but it also encourages you to never stop working for your goals. UMKC has helped me to expand my knowledge and dance technique, while also helping me grow as a person.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself having dance as an important part of my life; be it dancing professionally, as an educator, working in arts management, or whatever connects me to dance. I would love to be dancing professionally. I also want to travel and connect with different cultures through dance. There are so many things I see myself doing in the next 10 years, and what I know for sure is that dance will forever be a part of my life.