Dedicated to dance: Samantha Verity’s passion for dance keeps her driven

Katie Battaglino | Arts & Culture Editor

“Dance always comes first.”

For RWU senior, Sam Verity, this statement could not be more true. Verity has been dancing since she was 5 years old. As a child, she was in art club and liked to draw, but dance has always been her primary interest.

For her senior year in college, Verity currently puts in around 35 hours a week for all dance-related activities, including: dance classes, Dance Club, Dance Team, Dance Theater, dance homework and independent studio time.Although this seems like a lot of time and energy, she never sees dance as a chore.

“It’s very therapeutic to me. It never feels like a burden, ever,” Verity said. “It keeps me going and it keeps me motivated to accomplish things because I never just sit.”

When Verity was growing up, she spent almost all of her time at her home dance studio, Kovacs Studio of Dance. To her, Kovacs is truly home. She was there for classes and rehearsals throughout the week, and when she wasn’t dancing, she was cleaning the studio on Sunday nights. During her senior year of high school, she also taught four year olds and volunteered as a student teacher whenever she had the time.

After she graduated high school, she started choreographing dances for her studio to compete at dance competitions. For this competition season alone, Verity will be creating 10-11 dances for Kovacs to compete. Kovacs is always the first place she visits when she comes home from college.

Currently, Verity is working on a few different choreography projects in addition to the dances she is creating for her home studio. First, she is one of the student choreographers for Dance Theater, where she invests most of her time. She is in the beginning stages of her piece for this group, but says that it is inspired by a personal vision.

“It reflects a lifestyle experience of mine, but it can be perceived by the audience as whatever they take,” Verity said.

Choreographing for Dance Theater is especially exciting for Verity because it is her first time that she can set a piece with freedom of time, length and experimentation. In addition to her Dance Theater piece, she choreographs a dance for Dance Club each semester, and she is choreographing Dance Team’s travel team dance. Her favorite project is her Dance Theater piece because she is making it for herself with a theme that is personal to her.

With Verity’s dedication to dance, it seems fitting that she is a dance major. However, she came to college as an undeclared architecture major. She did well in architecture and enjoyed it, but she ended up seeing it as a hobby rather than something she could do long-term. Verity was more invested in dance and viewed it as something that she could see herself doing forever. According to Verity, dance is her motivation to keep thinking outside of the box, and is the one activity that she feels she can do without judgment from others.

“Obviously people are making judgements and people may not like what I’m doing, but I don’t care because I love it so much,” Verity said.

Verity also said that she is a private person, but dance is the one thing she doesn’t mind sharing with others. Because of this, she sees dance as her primary language, and she’d rather dance than talk to communicate what she wants to say or how she is feeling. To keep the creative ideas flowing, she listens to at least three hours of music of all genres every day. Music gets her “in the zone” and whenever she has down time, she is dancing. According to Verity, she would rather dance than nap, which is something most college students would never say.

In the future, Verity would like to “make a name” for herself in the dance world. She wants to live in Europe for a few years to travel and create. When she went abroad to London in her junior year, it opened her eyes to the dance opportunities in other countries. She is looking forward to auditioning a lot which she has already started with Fox’s popular reality TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Verity auditioned with tap and made it through the first two rounds. Although she was only involved with the show for a short time, she got a lot out of the experience. Verity knows that dance as a profession brings a lot of rejection, but she is ready for it until she finds the right fit for her, whether that be in the career path of a performer or a choreographer. Her overarching goal is to become a professional performer, and, later on in life, somehow still be invested within the dance company experience.

“My vision changes every week, but that’s the fun part about it,” Verity said.