Bailey Kahmeyer: Connecting through dance

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Bailey Kahmeyer for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

Bailey dances at Summit Dance Shoppe and has learned to express her emotions through movement.

When and where did you start dancing?  What did you love about dance as a kid?

I first started dancing at Chanhassen Dance as a recreational dancer. After a year I was asked to try out for their competition lines. Around 4th grade I transferred to a larger studio, Summit Dance Shoppe, to further my training. As a kid, dance allowed me to escape from things happening outside of the studio and focus in a positive atmosphere created by my friends and teachers.

How has your style progressed? What types of dance did you love in the early years?  What styles do you love today?

Over the years my style has changed in different ways. As a younger dancer, I enjoyed jazz and its fast choreography and upbeat music. Now, I love contemporary for its slower and more deliberate choreography and for the ability to express emotions and connect with the audience.

Bailey Kahmeyer for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What do you love about dance today?

Today I still love dance for the same reasons I used to. Dance allows me to escape the problems and challenges I face outside of the studio.  It allows me to focus on relationships with my friends and coaches who make me happy.

Bailey Kahmeyer for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What are 1-2 challenges you have sustained in your dance career?

Moving studios was a difficulty I learned from early on.  When you move studios, it can be very difficult because you don’t know anyone, which makes dancing tricky. I needed to learn to trust my new teammates, to get over the fear of being judged and to dance to my full ability. I think I was able to adjust more easily then that I would have now because I was younger, and my teammates may have been more accepting than if I had changed studios in high school.

Most dancers face injury at some point in their career.  The most frustrating part of injury recovery is having to sit in the audience and watch your friends dance.  If channeled properly this experience can provide a great motivation to get back on stage, the anticipation makes the return that much more exciting.

Bailey Kahmeyer for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What is one or two lessons learned from the challenge above?

From these challenges I have learned to keep pushing myself. Whether it be moving studios or common injuries, dance was still there to teach me perseverance, the importance of my dance family and teamwork. Trusting your teammates is a huge part of being successful in dance.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Find meaning behind your movement.” Luke Olson-Elm gave me this advice and he taught me that finding this meaning is especially important in contemporary dances as finding meaning to the movement helps communicate the story of the dance. This advice has helped me put more passion into my dancing which come across better from the audience’s standpoint.

Do you want to give a shout out to anyone? Please put name, how you know them and what you want to say, one per line.:

I want to give a shout out to my parents for always driving me to dance even with their busy schedules, and for supporting me as I continued to make goals for myself in dance.

I would also like to thank all the staff at Summit Dance Shoppe for training me, believing in me, and teaching me valuable life lessons for outside of the studio.

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