Meet Emily Christopher: Born to danceBy Scott Singleton
Photographs by Linda Tincher
When Emily Christopher dances, she moves with the grace and ease that comes with more than 14 years of dedicated practice. In her fourth year with the KSU Dance Company, Emily is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop, and appreciates the diversity of opportunities open to her through the program.
After moving around the country with her family, Emily settled in Kennesaw in 2001 and began studying at local dance studio, Praise Him with Dance. She attended high school at The King’s Academy and initially attended a local community college where she tried out for and was accepted into KSU's Dance Company. Emily's decision to transfer to the dance program at KSU was primarily influenced by the experience she had watching the KSU Dance Company in concert. "That's when I decided this is where I want to go. I fell in love with it here," she says.
Ivan Pulinkala, director of the dance program, remains the primary reason why Emily decided to study dance at Kennesaw State. She says, “He looks at us and sees where we need to grow. Then he puts us in that role to challenge us.” In recognition of Emily’s dedication and talent, Pulinkala says, “Emily has an established record of excellence as a scholar-artist. She has been an active part of the KSU Dance Company and represented us at a number of local and regional performances. I have no doubt that Emily will have a promising career in dance.”
While representing KSU, Emily participated in the American College Dance Festival for two years and performed in Pulinkala’s piece “Metastasis” during the second trip. She has also performed in the KSU productions of “42 Feet off the Ground,” "Incubus” and “Adumbration,” and will be featured in the innovative new performance “Chakra” this November.
Emily has participated in Jazz on Tap and BalletFest. She has performed during high school outreach programs at the Cobb Energy Centre and at summer programs at Ballet Magnificat and the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. As part of KSU’s new dance partnership with Atlanta Ballet, Emily was featured in Atlanta Ballet’s performance of “Don Quixote” this past May.
In addition to performing, Emily enjoys the academic aspect of studying dance. “I’m learning everything about dance,” she says. Natalie Smith Berry, instructor of dance, worked with Emily while she was still in high school and before Berry joined the faculty at KSU. “It is so exciting to see Emily expand her knowledge and ability of not just dance and the performing arts but of the world in general,” says Berry. “Emily’s depth as an artist has grown, no doubt due to the curriculum at KSU.”
After graduating next May, Emily wants to teach and join a program that will allow her to travel and dance. “I love to travel. It’s a big part of who I am. If I could travel and dance at the same time, that would be the best thing.”