Entry by George Randolph, Co-Founder of SCC
I got involved in the arts, dance specifically, in a backdoor way.
I was expected to follow in my father’s footsteps and have a career in the military. In university, I was a military cadet training to become an officer, while majoring in Psychology. I was also an avid tennis player. One day, a friend of mine convinced me to take a contemporary dance class as a way to help my game and improve my flexibility, agility and spatial awareness.
I started dance, and realized something for the first time in my life: I discovered that I had been missing a way to creatively express myself, and dance was fulfilling that need. I made the decision to quit the military program in order to pursue this new passion. As you can imagine, I didn’t exactly make my parents jump for joy. But I did suddenly become popular on campus (which was pretty cool).
I promised my parents I would finish my psych degree. Upon graduation I dedicated the next three years of my life to train in classical ballet, modern and jazz dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. In exchange for classes, I cleaned their studios and washrooms. Then I got promoted to the position of receptionist. Since I was improving at a rapid rate with the training, I was awarded a full scholarship, which meant no more cleaning! After some time, I was invited to join the apprentice company, then the national company. At the end of my third year, I performed with the company at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The moral of this story is that whatever you do in life, follow your passion and don’t be afraid to dream.
Oh, and my parents? They became my No. 1 fans.