Abroad and On Campus?

The past few weeks have been crazy as I was on campus as students moved in and classes started for the fall semester. I got questions about how strange it felt but honestly, I loved spending the first week and a half in Holland. The energy and excitement from the new freshman was amazing. And of course, the best part was reconnecting with friends who did not stay the summer on campus. I loved seeing the quiet campus become busy again but was also sad to lose full range of the campus. I spent all my summer working for the theater and biology department which transferred over to the school year. The reason why I stayed so long was related to dance obligations and opportunities.

Last spring, I was offered a spot in H2, a dance company on campus. I was so shocked and grateful for the opportunity and of course accepted the offer. H2 comes a week early for school to get a head start on performances much like other sports teams get a head start on training. Since I will be gone for the fall show, I understudied for Fara Ling the whole week as she was busy as an international orientation director.

I really enjoyed H2 but the greater reason why I never left was due to a celebration of life for the founder of the dance department, Maxine DeBruyn. The week in between intensive week and the celebration, I got to keep up with my training by taking all kinds of technique classes which I have enjoyed and missed so much. I think this was more confusing for others then it was for me because I knew I was leaving the whole time but dancers around me often forgot as I have been there every semester for the past six semesters.

This past Saturday, the 4th, is when Maxine’s Celebration of life happened. I am so grateful I got to be a part of the celebration and got to honor her life by preforming a piece she created in the 80s called snickerdoodle. This dance has been recreated in so many ways and I am so grateful for the legacy I got to be added to. After the celebration of life ceremonies, I left for North Carolina and will spend the next few weeks visiting friends and family I haven’t seen in a while before leaving for Liverpool!

Stay tuned to know why Hope College and Liverpool Hope University share such a unique bond.

Emma Walilko and Fara Ling
Emma Walilko and Fara Ling

Published by emmawalilko

Class of 2022 Dance Performance/Choreography and Writing Major Liverpool, United Kingdom

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