Artist of the Month: Jaclyn Gary


Courtesy of Matt Pilsner

Audrey Liang, Staff Writer

Dance is a vital part of junior Jaclyn Gary’s life, and an essential part of her identity. “Emotionally, I just have a huge love for it. Like when I was younger I stopped [dancing] for a while and I just got really sad.”

Gary has been dancing since she was a toddler. When she was little, Gary would always dance to music around her. Her mom recognized Gary’s talent and passion for dance and decided to have her take dance lessons. Gary loved the dance lessons, and from the age of seven she started taking lessons at least twice a week. Since then, she has performed various styles of dance, including contemporary, ballet, jazz, urban, and tap.

Today, Gary is not only thriving as a  dancer, but also choreographing dances for herself and others to perform. “Literally, I’m choreographing them for the dance concerts, for the people who watch them, but I think it’s a good process for every dancer to go through to create rather than just going through the motions of somebody else’s choreography.”

Gary is currently in the process of choreographing three pieces for the spring dance showcase: a contemporary solo to be performed by Gary herself, a latin fusion piece of music that will be performed by senior Cierra Moore and junior Naveen Bhatia, and a hip hop duo with junior Ella Baseman.

However, as with everything, Gary has experienced some not-so-perfect aspects of some of her performances. There have been challenges for Gary, both physical and mental in the shape of injuries and the mental difficulty of finding movement within herself instead of simply performing mindlessly.

“It’s easy just to be given choreography and just do it and just perform it and it will mean nothing, but the real challenge is finding movement within yourself and like, trying to find your energy and then articulate that with your body,” said Gary.

A key reason to why Gary has kept on dancing despite all the challenges is that this is her way of communicating with the world without speaking.

“It allows me to articulate my thoughts and emotions without actually speaking them and I think it’s a nice platform for messages to be heard.” She continued, “So if I’m trying to get a message across to society I can create a dance that can be more impactful to the audience rather than me just saying words.”

Gary hopes to double major in Evolutionary Biology and Dance in college, and also has plans for dance after she graduates. “I think it’s something that I see as being part of my life for a very long time, for as long as my body will let me.”

Interesting Facts:

  1. Favorite dancer: Erica Sobol
  2. Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip
  3. Favorite clothing brand: Target
  4. Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings…all of them