The senior from Charlotte, N.C. has overcome bothersome injuries in her four-year dance career at Dominican. The last performance of her final semester provided a stage for Bowman to finish strong and pursue her dreams.
“I know that my dancing and stage presence have improved since being at Dominican, and these performances are my last thresholds to transition from being a student to becoming a professional,” said Bowman, who performed April 19 in the BFA Senior Showcase at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.
“The Spring Showcase is bittersweet, and a little scary, but the confidence I will take on stage just reminds me that I am ready for a professional career.”
Bowman is one of a dozen seniors in Dominican's LINES Ballet BFA program who participated in the first of two BFA Spring Showcase performances April 25-26 in Angelico Hall.
The weekend performances featured premiering choreography by Christian Burns, Sandrine Cassini, Gregory Dawson, Julia Stiefel and Keelan Whitmore.
There are now 45 students from 18 states and the District of Columbia enrolled in Dominican's four-year BFA program. They are bussed almost every day from campus, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to the LINES studios in San Francisco then bussed back to campus to attend their college classes.
In 2012, every BFA in Dance student at Dominican graduated with honors. Bowman will do the same this year in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences through the Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts.
“I came to Dominican for the dance program because I wanted to train in a more contemporary ballet world. I also wanted to go to a college where I could meet people in other fields. I know that I need balance in my life between the time I spend inside and outside of the studio,” Bowman said. “I have met so many people here at Dominican that I feel I will be able to keep in contact for the rest of my life. They mean a lot to me. The dance world is a small world, but being at Dominican I now know what it feels like to be a part of a small community that really has your back. I met a lot of people that have inspired, changed, challenged, and supported me.”
Bowman needed support for an ankle injury that plagued her during her four years at Dominican. But, she has finally emerged from the setbacks and physical therapy to become a stronger dancer and person.
“Each student has an individual path through the program that is their own journey of growth and development. Hayley had a rough one dealing with her ankle injury, but she learned things through that process that have strengthened her, informed her, and also allowed her to feel gratitude and a renewed experience of the joy of dance,” said Marina Hotchkiss, BFA program director. “She's in the perfect place, physically and mentally, to fly the nest and begin her professional career.”
Bowman is ready to spread her wings.
“Looking back, I learned a lot from having to sit out and observe, and I also learned that my instincts are important,” she said. “I must always listen to my body; I know it better than anyone else. It was always a reminder that things happen for a reason. Through all the frustration and impatience, I must say the injury was important to this stage of my life.”
Bowman has been able to perform Maurya Kerr's FUR and her Senior Solo and watch her choreography come to life in her Senior Project. She has traveled to Guatemala and performed with the non-profit organization Juntos, a dance outreach project created by a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham program.
After graduation in May, Bowman will audition and continue to work with Nagata Dance where Corrine Nagata teaches freshman modern technique. She has mentored several BFA students in their time at Dominican as teachers of young children through her own work with Nagata Dance.
“I want to dance professionally while I am young, but I do want to continue being a supporter of dance my whole life,” Bowman said. “Even though I will have a degree soon, and be considered a real adult, I still have a lot I want to learn and explore and, like dance, this will be life-long. I have a good foundation of dance training and education that can take me anywhere. I am thankful for this and excited for whatever may come.”
For more information about the LINES Ballet BFA Spring Showcase in Angelico Hall, contact Wallace Harvey at 415-482-3579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Weidong Yang and Austin Forbord