Hello and welcome to day two of our instructor introductions. Today we welcome new instructor, Ms. MaryJo Nelson to our teaching staff this season! MaryJo has been traveling the world for the last many years and is back in Fargo-Moorhead. We are excited to have as part of our dance family!
Q & A
Q. What is your favorite part about teaching?
A. I love being able to watch how students grow and gain confidence as dancers. I think it's especially beautiful when I see students figure out how to stop thinking so hard and to just live and experience the music and the movement. I always hope to inspire students to be the best they can be.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Music inspires me. Music on its own is so emotive and makes me feel like I have to move and express visually the story that the music is telling me. Also, watching amazing dancers and amazing pieces choreography that make me feel something inspires me to want to be better and do better.
Q. Tips for our dancers?
A. Work hard. As with anything, you will only get out of dance what you put into it. Learn from as many different teachers in as many different styles as possible. Learn from people who are better than you. Practice good technique. Create good habits. And once you've done all that, forget about it all and just live in the movement. If you never take the courage to let go and show people your heart, then no one will ever have the privilege to see how great you are.
Q. Favorite snack?
A. Rice cakes or gummy bears :)
MaryJo Nelson has been moving since the age of three, beginning with gymnastics and later, after competing for several years in USAG, transitioning to dance. MaryJo moved to Fargo from Phoenix when she was 13 and spent her high school years studying ballet at Brant’s School of Dance Arts. During her senior year, she also competed on the nationally ranked West Fargo High School dance team and was a choreographer for the team. After graduating, MaryJo spent three years with the California based performing arts group, The Young Americans, during which time she had the opportunity to teach dance and perform all over the world in countries including the UK, Germany, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, and China.
At the age of 22, MaryJo crewed on a sailboat from San Diego to central pacific Mexico. She decided she liked Mexico so much that she stayed and ended up living there for the next six and a half years. For her first three years there, she made her living teaching aerial silks and performing as a dancer and aerialist. For the last several years, MaryJo has been working professionally at theaters in and near Puerto Vallarta, playing starring roles including Roxie in Chicago, Cinderella in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Kira in Xanadu, and Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Show. This past season she also had the privilege to choreograph NuName Production’s Chicago for which she received rave reviews.
After spending most of the last ten years abroad, MaryJo has finally decided to move back to Fargo to be close to her family. She feels so fortunate to have had the opportunity to train in so many different styles of movement from a variety of teachers all over the world, and she can’t wait to be able to share her passion for story telling through dance with the students at Gasper’s School of Dance!