Posting Date: August 24, 2012
Meet Carrie Petrak: Putting college before career
By Shira Kerce
Carrie Petrak started dancing when she was only three years old. As a sophomore in high school, she transferred to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ prestigious High School Dance Program in Ballet. After graduating, she went on to train with the Nashville Ballet, and she is now a freshman in the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance with a concentration in ballet.
Carrie decided to come to KSU after a difficult decision between attending college and immediately pursuing a professional dance career. She ultimately decided that college was the right step for her. “Although it was tempting to start my career immediately, I have realized that there are many benefits to coming to college first. I have learned a lot of new dance techniques and gained some really great connections in the dance community,” Carrie says.
Since coming to KSU, Carrie has grown to love the sense of community on campus. “It really feels like a family here,” she explains. Being a part of the Department of Dance has also been a good experience for Carrie. “Working with Prof. Pulinkala and ballet instructor Reiko Kimura has been so refreshing and exciting,” she says. “The way that they treat and work with student dancers is inspiring and it has changed my thinking about being a dancer in today’s society.”
Kimura, especially, has left a mark on Carrie, both as a dancer and as a student. “She has really helped me the most in terms of my ballet technique,” Carrie explains. “I appreciate everything that she has done to help me grow.” Kimura describes Carrie as “a beautiful dancer” who is a pleasure to work with. Kimura explains, “Carrie really wants to work on her craft and improve every day. Her dancing has a quality and maturity that sets her apart from most of the dancers.”
After graduating Carrie hopes to pursue a performing and choreographic career, but she is also interested in dance therapy. She currently has a double major in dance and exercise health science. Whatever her future career may be, Carrie knows she will still be dancing. “Dancing,” Carrie explains, “allows you to use your mind and body in incredible ways, and it is so fulfilling.”