One in 22,000 : Something in The Way She Moves

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Amy Phillips stretches before dance practice, inside the Chesapeake room at the Towson University Union. ( Photo By: Jerice Boston TU Student)

The story of Amy Phillips, a Towson University sophomore, that has an extreme passion and love for the art of dance.  Amy has been dancing since she was in the fourth grade. She is co-captain of the Allure Dance Troupe, a club team at Towson. Read Amy’s Full story.

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Amy Phillips dressed as Dorothy from the 1939 Musical Classic       The Wizard of OZ (Photo By: Carol Phillips)

When Amy Phillips was 10 years old, she was given the iconic leading part of Dorothy in her Musical Theatre class at Dance Dynamics in Seaville, New Jersey. Amy wasn’t your garden-variety choice for a leading role because Amy had only been dancing for a few short months.

“I was a fish out of water,” Amy said. “I’ve never taken a dance class in my life, and I got casted to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz which was a big deal because I was amongst girls who had been dancing their whole lives at that point.”

Playing the lead role in a production is a dream that many young girls have growing up. But in just a few months, Amy made that dream a reality.

“I knew my teacher had confidence in me and I wanted to prove it to everyone in the audience that I was ready to take on such a role.”

Amy has taken that same confidence and applied it to everything that she has done since that memorable day. Amy is now a sophomore at Towson University studying mass communications, and serves as Co-captain of the Allure Dance Troupe, a club team at Towson.

The Allure Dance Troupe is a student-led group comprised of 10 girls that incorporates several different styles of dance and allows some of the girls to choreograph masterpieces for the group.

Amy says she loves performing the contemporary dance style the most because she can pour her emotions into the music.

“I tend to connect more with slower songs that have more meaning to them; these are really fun to choreograph!”

Competing in dance at the highest level takes a total commitment and dedication.

“Competitive dancing is brutal. I danced for about 20 hours a week from the time I was in the fourth grade until I was a senior in high school,” Amy says.

Family members hold a tremendous responsibility and must also be dedicated and committed to the success of their loved one. It’s a major commitment from a financial standpoint as well as the time aspect.

“The key to being a dance mom is PATIENCE!!!!,” said Carol Phillips, mother of Amy Phillips.“Nothing about dance can be planned, which for me, is very frustrating. You don’t know until three days before you go to a competition when the team is competing and what days you need to reserve a hotel room for.  Extra practices are always thrown in which meant scrambling to find car rides.”

Dancing is a way of life for Amy. She came to Towson originally as a dance major but decided that her dreams and aspirations were leading her into a different direction.

“I spent my entire freshman year as a dance major and that was an absolutely incredible experience,” Amy says. “We are one of the top 10 programs in the nation, so to be a part of that even for a short time is an honor. It wasn’t something that I saw myself pursuing for the rest of my life; I’m not one of those people comfortable with moving to New York City on a whim and auditioning for companies trying to make it.”

Even though Amy doesn’t want to pursue dance as a career, her involvement with Allure gives her the joy of being a part of a team. When she is dancing with her teammates, she says it feels like being around family, and she is tremendously grateful to be a part of it.

Amy has danced in over 30 competitions and won numerous awards for her skill, confidence and stage presence.

“Since the first day I saw Amy dance, I could see all the potential and talent she had compared to other dancers,” said Kelsey Voelker, Co-captain of Allure Dance Troupe. “I think what inspires me the most about her dancing is the way she embodies each movement, and truly puts all her emotion into each step, move and piece that she does.”

Amy is using the discipline and work ethic she learned while dancing into her studies as she prepares for a career as a journalist.

“I knew in my heart and soul that I wanted to pursue journalism,” Amy said. “Now that I am an intern for the Towson Sports Network, I am really following my passion and I can’t wait to continue pursuing that career path.”

As she moves into her career of choice, she takes with her the confidence she exuberated while playing Dorothy just 10 years ago, only this time she hopes her mother doesn’t volunteer to be her hair and make up artist.

“I had to do Amy’s hair and makeup and admittedly, I was not good at it,” Carol says.  “The other moms and I would consider switching kids because our daughters would get mad at their own mom for pulling their hair too tight and taking too long to do it.  I was very appreciative when Amy was old enough to do her own.”

Now that Amy can look the part, she is ready to use the inner beauty she has developed from dancing as she prepares to step in front of the camera, this time as a News Anchor. Dance will forever hold a special place in her heart, and she hopes to continue inspiring people to follow their passions, no matter what direction it may lead them in.

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