Posting Date: October 1, 2010

Meet Jessica Oglesby: Born to perform

By Andrea C. Kirwan

Jessica Oglesby

Photo by Sarah Singleton

Jessica Oglesby’s energetic passion for dance catapulted her into the Kennesaw State University Program in Dance in fall 2008. She recalls the moment that she decided to attend KSU: “I heard there was a dance program, but I wasn’t very sure. I came to one of their informal performances and I said, ‘I’ve got to go to KSU.’ I saw the passion in the dancing and the choreography. At my last school, it seemed as if they were dancing without the feeling behind it.”

Jessica has been performing for most of her life. When she became a member of the KSU Dance Company, she says it felt like a second family. “We’re all family and we’re all working together,” she says. “There’s never a silent competition, no one is better than the other and the professors treat all of us equally because they all care about our well-being and our growth as dancers.”

Jessica respects her professors and says, “They’re all very good at what they do. It always helps to have professors that have had really great careers and really understand what the life of dancing is all about." Jessica also highlights the helpful influence of Lauri Stallings, KSU instructor of dance. "Her movement is not considered ‘normal’ and it helped me see that when I choreograph I can be true to myself and not worry about what other people think."   

In November, Jessica will perform in the KSU Dance Company production of "D-Man in the Waters," where she will be featured in a lead role. She enjoys contemporary dance, but is no stranger to jazz, tap and hip-hop. “I pretty much love everything but ballet, “she says. “I’m a very fast paced person and I love fast music; I love attitude when I dance.”   

Ivan Pulinkala, director of the Program in Dance, says, “Jessica is a dynamic dancer with a natural proclivity to the stage. She will have a featured role in the Bill T. Jones piece being performed by the KSU Dance Company this fall.”

“What I’ve been told is that I have a lot of passion when I dance,” she says. “I know I want to succeed. I know I have to always make sure I’m making good grades because if I fall behind that’s going to distract me from being a better dancer. My passion drives me to make sure I do more than what’s accepted or what is needed."

Energy, passion and love for dancing will drive Jessica to where she’d like to be in her future. When she ventures beyond KSU, her plan is to pursue a professional dance career in Los Angeles and one day teach dance at a school that provides the same support and skilled professors as KSU.




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