Meet a Lucerna Author: Emily Rackers

My Lucerna project is about the emergence of modern dance during racial tension in the classical ballet realm. I examine the reasons why people of color felt pushed out of ballet and how the creation of modern dance as a “counterculture” to ballet has led to a continuous division between the two art forms. Through research, interviews, and personal experience, I try to look at solutions to this problem.

Why are you interested in this topic?

I am a dance major and have always been intrigued by the history of various dance forms. Ballet is my first love, but I have begun to enjoy modern dance more as a college student. However, while learning about various companies and history in college, I have seen so much how the racial tension between these two art forms continues today.

What have been the benefits and challenges of this project?

The main benefit of working on this project was learning more about an art form I love so much. Additionally, I was able to gain more perspective on a field I plan to work in. The biggest challenge was working with some of my interviewees, as they were hesitant to answer the more controversial questions. It was also hard at times to keep my own personal opinions out of the research-heavy and interview sections.

What is your advice for students who are interested in publishing their work in Lucerna?

My advice for students is to just go for it! Find a professor/mentor who knows what it takes to submit, and then work with them. Write about something you are passionate about and bring a fresh opinion to the table.

What are your professional plans or goals?

My professional goal is to dance with a contemporary company such as Visceral Dance for a few years. Eventually, I would like to return to school to obtain a master’s in arts administration. From there I will be able to help manage and run professional dance companies.