[10 QUESTIONS] Tilney Kaemmer grows into herself through dance


Illustrated by Lynn Reynolds

Tilney Kaemmer has tried many different styles of dance, such as ballet and tap: “I’ve grown into a person who’s a lot more capable of moving gracefully, and generally without breaking things.,” she said.

Why did you first get into dance?

I first got into dance when I was about 11 because I felt like I needed to learn how if I wanted to keep doing theater.”

Where do you go to practice? How did you find out about it?

I dance at spectrum dance school on grand avenue and I only know about it because I’ve driven past it for basically my whole life. I only started there this year because the place I used to dance at didn’t have any more classes for girls my age.

What has dance taught you?

I’ve definitely learned to be way more confident in myself and my movement in general. I used to be super clumsy growing up, but since I started to dance, I’ve grown into a person who’s a lot more capable of moving gracefully, and generally without breaking things. 

Do you ever have performances?

Yea, at my old studio we performed twice a year in kind of a singing/theater combo performance. They were a ton of fun, and a great way to grow into yourself as a performer.

What does your schedule look like with practice and performances taking some of your time?

I dance Monday through Thursday from 7-9:30 so luckily because the hours are so late it doesn’t affect my school much, but it takes up a lot of my time at night, and can sometimes make it hard to get all of my work done, especially if I’m also rehearsing something with SPA.

What is your proudest moment from the whole process of practicing and performing?

I think the first time I went through a full dance routine without messing up once, with full confidence, was pretty memorable. For a really long time I never felt very confident about full routines, because I’d gotten into dance later than a lot of the kids I was performing with, so the first time I ran the whole way through without mistakes was a really proud moment for me.

How did you get involved in the dance community?

I guess one day I realized that if I wanted to really consider theater as a real option for me going forward I had to learn how to dance. I actually really hated it when I started because it felt like I was so behind in learning how, but slowly and with a lot of practice I learned to love it and feel comfortable doing it.

What is your favorite thing about dance?

I love the way it makes me feel after I finish a routine or a sequence, just exhausted and out of breath, but feeling really proud of myself. I also love the way I go home from dance super tired, but feeling really accomplished on the drive back to my house.

What/who do you get inspiration from? Who do you dance with?

I mostly dance with kids my age, but really the person that inspires me the most is my old dance teacher I leave. She would not only make sure we felt comfortable dancing, but she’d make sure we were doing well in all other aspects of our life too.” 

What would you tell someone trying to get into dance?

Don’t worry if you think you look stupid. We all look stupid. Dancing looks ridiculous on everybody especially if you’re learning. I wish I’d heard that piece of advice earlier on, I could’ve saved a lot of time I spent being really self-conscious.