Dance like there’s thousands watching
By Bethany Short
“I swear that never again will I doubt what I’m capable of.”
These powerful words are lyrics in “10,000 Bombs,” a song by pop/soul singer Kelsey.
Those words ring especially true for UIC student Noelle Paige, the featured dancer in the video, which reached 18,000 views the day it was released. It’s been viewed more than 25,000 times.
At 6 feet tall, Paige is at a height that some would consider a disadvantage for a ballerina. She doesn’t let this stop her, though.
Instead of focusing on a more classical ballet style, she takes an experimental approach to her dancing, which broadens her experience and offers her more opportunities for creativity than a traditional technique would.
Paige answered a casting call for the music video by sending Kelsey’s record company pictures and videos of her dancing. The producers thought her style was perfect.
“To be featured in something for the first time was really amazing,” said Paige, a junior in urban and public affairs. “I choreographed the dance myself, and began filming a few weeks later.”
“The song was very empowering,” said Paige. “I really studied the lyrics and the musicality. The beginning is supposed to be timid, but the confidence grows. It was very symbolic.”
Her dancing career began at age 7, when she attended an open audition for the training academy Ballet Pensacola in Florida. They accepted her.
After training there for 10 years, she was offered a professional position with them at 17. This is her fourth year as a professional.
Paige received her associate’s degree from a community college in Florida, then moved to Chicago after being offered a job with Elements Contemporary Ballet. There, she helps put on shows and gives demonstrations and lectures on dance.
She took a year off to work with Elements, then transferred to UIC. After recently completing a fellowship working with President Obama’s reelection campaign, she has decided that her dream career is in politics and campaign planning.
As to her future as a dancer, Paige said determinedly, “I’ll dance as long as my body will allow,” showing no sign of doubt of what she is capable of.