Welcome back, Dear Readers!
Soooo… it’s everyone’s least favorite writing assignment, the dreaded “About Me” post. Woe is me! Yes, please, let me go ahead and sum up my entire being in a few paragraphs-sounds easy and fun and not at all intimidating and reductionistic *teenage eye roll*… I’ve started this post three or four times only to have it deteriorate into rambling (though personally enlightening!) journaling exercises exploring the essence and history of who I am. But it’s important that I help you get to know me, because that’s what MilspoFAN is all about – meeting each other and making connections. So, I’ve finally managed to pull together a post that I hope gives you an authentic but easy-to-swallow introduction to who I am.
The basics: My name is Jessica. I’m a freelance modern dancer choreographer and Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT) who’s been on a multi-year journey trying to find a calling that is true to my values, needs, skills, and interests. MilspoFAN is the result of that voyage! I’m a Navy spouse and momma to a little girl, with a second baby girl making her debut in July. I grew up in in Rockford, IL, and have lived in Normal, IL, Chicago, Washington, DC, Charlottesville, VA, and Virginia Beach. This summer we’re moving to Kitsap County, WA. I’ve recently begun to try a lot harder to embrace rather than resist this crazy military lifestyle.
My Creative Work: Over the last several years, my creative focus has been on making narrative dance pieces that are very accessible to non-dancer audience members. I am interested in making work that is easy to understand and relate to. The movement usually tells a story that the audience can follow and also elicits kinesthetic empathy from the audience. (Kinesthetic empathy is rad- it basically means that when you see another person do or experience something, say leaping through the air, your nervous system reflects that sensation, of soaring freedom in this example, in your own brain-body! Woah!)
Even though I haven’t worked as a dance therapist for a few years (can of worms), my creative work is heavily influenced by my Master’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling and my work experiences in the field of dance/movement therapy. Human movement naturally reflects both inner psyche and interpersonal relationships. In my choreography, I turn the volume way up, abstract the movement, add a narrative structure, and put it on stage.
Other interests: Other than working on MilspoFAN, dancing and spending time with my family, I love to dabble in painting and drawing. My favorite visual artists are Van Gough, Monet, and Brittney Lee. I adore Disney/Pixar animation and have always dreamed of creating dance-animation work like this [Thought of You- Ryan Woodward] and this [Counter Pointe by Kelly Hanks]. The combination of visceral and visual imagery just excites me beyond measure. And I just love working collaboratively in any capacity, especially on creative work, so the isolation that can come with motherhood and moving all the time has been tough.
Some more random things that I like: Designing, building, and customizing websites (the binary nature of this work is a really nice foil to creative work), nerding out about interpersonal neuropsychology and evolutionary and developmental psych, traveling just about anywhere, Chuao Firecracker chocolate, actual fireworks, roller coasters, nectarines, red peppers, the smell of lemons, hyacinths, snapdragons, tiger lilies, Tervis tumblers, swimming, The Muppets, feminism, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, personal finance, clean eating, walks on the beach, Disney World. I DO NOT like horror films and haunted houses.
Hopefully that snapshot is enough to give you a bit of an idea of who you are interacting with here at MilspoFAN. Through the blog, Facebook group, and other MilspoFAN interactions, we will continue to get to know each other even better. I can’t wait to hear all about you, so post something on the Facebook group or in the comments below about yourself and your creative work!