Makayla Church

Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Dance Education
Class Year: 
West Jefferson, North Carolina

What launched your interest in dance?

I am constantly developing new interests in dance. I first fell in love with dance as a form of self expression, often improvising in my bedroom, and I dreamed of one day creating my own dances. When I was younger I enjoyed watching shows like So You Think You Can Dance and I participated in competition dance. My interest in dance increased when I began taking ballet, because I loved the challenge it provided and the discipline it required. I further develop my interest in dance each and every day I'm at UNC Charlotte. When I began dancing here I was exposed to the Horton technique, which sparked an interest in Modern dance. Not only do I enjoy learning these techniques but I am interested in learning about dance's role in society. The professors challenge us to explain movement in detail rather than merely execute it, and they give us the history and cultural implications of this art form. I recently went to the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance intensive and was very inspired by the company members' artistry and commitment. I guess to answer the question, I am continually inspired by my experiences and I find interests in dance every day. 

What are your plans when you graduate? What kind of career do you hope to have?

I would love to perform professionally following graduation. I would also like to work with a non profit or through an education and outreach program to provide dance instruction for students with diverse intellectual abilities and socio-economic backgrounds. Eventually I plan to go to graduate school and hope to move back to the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

What is your favorite thing about the College of Arts + Architecture or the dance department?

I really appreciate the College of Arts + Architecture's support of interdisciplinary collaboration. As a liaison for BRIDGE, an interdisciplinary student organization for the college, I value any opportunity that enables artists in different fields to work together. There is an overall sense of community within the college and within the department of dance as well. My favorite thing about the dance department is the faculty. Our professors are extremely talented and very diverse, which allows for the students to widen their dancing ability and perspectives through the different styles and techniques taught. I also love the opportunities provided by these professors, such as NYC Field Studies, the chance to work with guest choreographers, and extra performance opportunities. 

Do you participate in any community cultural activities or work in the Charlotte community?

I volunteer weekly at The John Crosland School, a local school dedicated to the education of children with learning and attention differences such as autism and ADHD. I lead the students in movement generation and usually work with children in third through sixth grades. Our sessions are mainly improvisational and are prompted by shapes, colors, or creatures in nature. This is one of the most rewarding experiences and has fueled my passion for investigation of the inclusive classroom setting as a dance educator. 

I also work on campus as a Patron Services Representative at the Robinson Hall Box Office. I love this job because it allows for me to be even more involved with the College of Arts + Architecture and the amazing performances produced by it. 

When you are not in class, studying, or rehearsing in the studio, what do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy skiing, hiking, river kayaking, and being outdoors. I like spending time with friends and eating. I play on an intramural soccer team and I also love to paint!