Taking a chance or a leap of faith can have incredible results as Ashlee Grazier, senior dancer and finance major, can attest to. Ever since her mother inspired her to take classes at three years old, Ashlee has been exposed to the rigorous, glamorous and artsy world of dance. As a junior, Ashlee decided to try out again for the Dance Team which reignited her passion for the art.
The Dance Team performs at various events around campus including basketball games, Cabrini’s Got Talent, Relay for Life and most recently Cabrini Night at the Phillies. Citizens Bank Park was transformed into a center stage while thousands watched. “Something clicks,” Grazier said. “That you are here to entertain.” Although she admits to being shy, “Once the song comes on you don’t have time to think about it, just go,” Grazier said.
Such a transformation was evident during the team’s poignant performance to Beyoncé’s song “I’m Here” at last year’s Relay for Life. The lights in the gymnasium dimmed and as soon as the notes filled the gymnasium, emotion was palpable with each turn and jump.
“It was a great experience,” Grazier said. “I heard stories from friends and how they lost someone and are still fighting.” The moving performance was especially close to her heart because her grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer. Grazier reflects that the dance was not about technique but rather giving a gift to those watching.
“A dancer is naturally romantic,” as most of modern choreography utilizes love songs,” Grazier said. “Once you hear the music you get into character and become the person. However the song is feeling, that’s how you feel invested in song.” Grazier has studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip hop at the Grace Dance Theater. She prefers modern to structured ballet.
In addition to being a member of the dance team, Grazier is the president of Amor Latino and vice president of the Black Student Union, a resident assistant and a member of Catholic Relief Services. The impressive list of duties continues as she works in admissions, Dixon and the mailroom.
Although it seems that Grazier never skips a beat between dancing in the studio, working and participating in clubs, she loves to write poetry and shop online. “Dance is a stress reliever,” Grazier said. “Everyone is different.” If something horrible is happening within the family or you are in a bad mood, you put on a face.” “Eventually, the expression creates joy.”
Graduation day is in sight, and Grazier is excited for a future spent traveling and helping her community through service. The curtains will not close on her passion for the arts. “I have to be dancing,” Grazier said. “What else would I be doing?”
Either dealing with challenges in dance or various areas in life, Grazier’s advice is, “Do not let anyone belittle you.”