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My name is Hazel Black, and I am a student at The Ohio State University pursuing a B.F.A. in dance with a focus in choreography and a minor in Inequality in Society. I was born and raised just south of Columbus, in Dayton, Ohio, a city that cultivated my interest in the arts. Between the opera, the philharmonic, three dance companies, an art museum, and countless small galleries; I went to many performances, developed an eye for visual composition, listened to a broad range of music, and experienced many different cultures. This exposure increased my understanding and appreciation of artistic expression.

My earliest and most foundational training is in Tap Dance and Clogging which I studied parallel to performing with Rhythm in Shoes, a dance company that was based out of Dayton for many years. Working professionally with the company for three years opened my eyes to the thrill and excitement of performing, but not without introducing me to the history and culture of Appalachian dance and music.  When I began studying studio-based dance techniques like Horton, Classical Ballet, and Graham at Stivers School for the Arts, I never lost my interest in my initial training. Even now, studying in a Contemporary program, my choreographic style is still rhythmically based and has connections to clogging form.

In high school, I had many performance opportunities: I performed alongside Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in one of their concerts, traveled to Cleveland to participate in the International Association of Blacks in Dance Festival, and was a dancer in a TEDxDayton performance. Within the dance department, my senior choreography project was chosen from five pieces to be performed in the main stage concert, and I received multiple recognitions for excellence in written work. At Ohio State, I have understudied and performed in works by Doug Varone, Eddie Taketa, and Sofie Clemmensen. In my first year, I performed in a work by Graduate Student, Anna Massey, at the American College Dance Association’s Regional Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am a University Honors student at Ohio State, and next semester I will be participating in an on-going community service project with a specific organization through the Semester of Service program through the office of Student Life.