Throughout her high school career, Northwood Dance Theatre co-captain senior Maxine Xu has created countless choreographies featuring her perfect pirouettes, graceful leaps and passionate movements. This month, The Howler sat down with Xu to discuss her inspirations for her choreographies and the impacts of dance on her Northwood experience.
Alice Chen: When did you start dancing and why?
Maxine Xu: I first started dancing when I was two, and I started because my mom thought I would look cute in a little tutu.
AC: What is your favorite style of dance?
MX: That’s a difficult question. My favorite style would have to be either contemporary or lyrical. In lyrical, I can express a lot of emotions, so I feel like it is an effective dance when I’m trying to portray a story. I like contemporary dance because there’s a lot of freedom, so I can be more creative.
AC: What is your favorite part about performing?
MX: My favorite part of performing is when I’m on stage and I get to be a different character in a way. I feel like when I dance I kind of morph into somebody else. Also, I like the sense of accomplishment afterwards, especially when audience members come up to me and say I was really good or my dance was really effective. I think that gratitude is very rewarding.
AC: When you choreograph, where do you get your inspiration from?
MX: I think my inspiration comes from everyday experiences with my families and friends. For me, a lot of the dances I have choreographed have been based around my experiences. They didn’t necessarily have to be life-changing, but just small things inspire me.
AC: How has dancing shaped your experiences at Northwood?
MX: I think dance has led me to different places and exposed me to other types of arts as well. I got my musicality from dance, which introduced me to choir, and since dancing is expressing with your whole body, that led me to acting and going into the musicals. So, I feel like dance has led me to experience more things and take advantage of more opportunities Northwood has to offer.
AC: What are your plans for dance in the future?
MX: Dance is a really important part of my life and I don’t want to eliminate it for the future. Right now, I’m been thinking about minoring, joining dance clubs or even taking dance classes to keep dance in my life.