Bulldogs of Butler: Dance Major


This is the latest installment of our Bulldog of Butler series. We hope to highlight the many people on this campus. Click here to read more stories about your fellow Dawgs.

First-year student, Claire Bednarek, tells the ups and downs of being a Dance Major in the Jordan College of the Arts.

Name: Claire Bednarek

From: Denver, Colo.

Grade: First-year

Major: Dance Arts Administration

Minor: Considering Adding Communication

Involvements on Campus: Sigma Rho Delta Dance Fraternity, Delta Gamma Sorority

Fun Facts: Claire has a twin brother and has danced since she was four years old. She has performed in the Nutcracker every year since she was six years old; her favorite role was the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Dream Vacation: Greece

Favorite Movie: Mamma Mia

Dream Job: “To teach dance to little kids, preferably in Colorado.”

Social Media She Can’t Live Without: Instagram

Favorite Music Genre: “It depends on my mood. I will listen to nothing but Country then all I want is 2000s Hip Hop Dance.”

Broad Ripple or Downtown: Broad Ripple “It reminds me of Boulder, Colo. If someone out of town was visiting me, I would take them to Pitaya, then to Insomnia Cookies or Cold Stone or BRICS, then to the Garden Table because it’s cute, hippie and fun.”

Interview with Claire Bednarek

Collegian: What influenced you to come to Butler University?

Claire Bednarek: Butler’s dance program has a really good reputation, and I was looking for a serious Ballet program. I wanted a real academic education and the ability to get greater dance practice and experience, while still keeping a social aspect.

C: Did you always want to attend a small college?

CB: Not necessarily. Butler seemed perfect; the size didn’t matter so much. I based my college choices on major instead of size.

C: Do you find it hard being so far away from home?

CB: Yes, but it has been easier than I expected. Ever since the eighth grade, I have done summer trainings for dance, so I’m used to being away from home.

C: What influenced you to start dancing?

CB: I saw the Nutcracker when I was little and wanted to try it myself. I did karate for one day, soccer for a little and kept up with dance for my whole life.

C: Did you always want to be a dance major?

CB: I, along with a lot of others, have a love-hate relationship with dance. It’s hard not to. I may want to quit one day, but in the long run, I love it too much. I put so much energy and time into dancing that I could never quit.

C: What has been your favorite memory from Butler dance so far?

CB: All of us dancers are so close already. My favorite thing is being able to walk into the studios and see everyone happy and in good moods; it puts me in a better mood. Everybody is always motivated, enthusiastic, and wanting to do the best they can; it’s contagious.

C: Is there a large difference between performing in a big performance, compared to a small production?

CB: Being in a big theatre with a large stage, such as the Nutcracker in Clowes, has a more exciting environment with lots of nerves. It is easier to perform for a larger audience because everyone’s nerves turn into motivation and it excites you and makes you want to do your best.

C: What happens if a dancer gets injured or sick?

CB: It depends on your injury. If you can dance, you go to class and try to dance. If you can’t dance, then you go to class to sit and watch. If someone has a serious injury and cannot dance for most of the semester, then he or she would have to schedule core requirements then fulfill dance course requirements once healed.

C: What are you most excited for in Swan Lake?

CB: I’m excited to be on a large stage with different dance interpretations. I was a soldier in the Nutcracker and had to have exact movements, while in Swan Lake, my dances are more up to my interpretation.

Butler Ballet will present its major spring performance Swan Lake in Clowes Memorial Hall April 15-17.

C: What is your opinion on other types of dance, besides Ballet?

CB: I’ve taken modern and jazz lessons before, and I’m required to take more modern and jazz classes to open up my field as a freshman. I’m used to being prim, proper and poised in ballet. I’m not used to the harder, freer hip hop and dance team movements. It’s easier to begin with taking ballet lessons then try other dances because once you can do ballet, you’ll know how to position yourself and be able to perform other movements. I enjoy watching other performances and productions, especially ballet. But I usually end up wanting to get up and dance myself; it’s hard to sit still. Also, it’s exhausting and hard practicing all the time and the repetitive music is sickening, but when it’s over, I miss everything and want to be able to do another show again. It’s so rewarding once you finish a performance; I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.