Rhamzi Burks, a senior dance major with a concentration in choreography and performance, is involved with the upcoming Works-a-Foot showcase featuring Emmy-nominated choreographer Stacey Tookey. Burks discusses her dance experience and her life motto to “keep moving forward.”
Q: What organizations/activities are you involved in on campus?
A: I am a member of the Montclair State University Repertoire Company, and I also work in our campus’ mail room.
Q: Describe your dance background.
A: I began dancing at the age of 3, and at the age of 8 I joined a competition dance team and annually attended major dance conventions. It wasn’t until I enrolled in my local performing arts school at the age of 15 that I began taking dance seriously. Meanwhile I started training intensely at the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut.
Q: What is your favorite genre of dance?
A: My favorite genres of dance are classical modern, specifically the Horton technique and contemporary dance. I appreciate the strength and athleticism required in the Horton technique and I really enjoy the artistic freedom.
Q: What or whom inspires you? Why?
A: I am inspired by choreographers who place emphasis on their attention to detail and textures such as Azure Barton, Crystal Pite, Victor Quijada and Ohad Naharin. I am also really inspired by the depth of the human spirit and various ways in which it can be expressed through movement.
Q: Briefly explain your part in Works a Foot.
A: In Works-a-Foot, I have the privilege of being featured in Frederick Earl Mosley’s “Horizon.” I am also very excited to be performing a work choreographed by Stacey Tookey entitled “Gift,” which will premiere in this concert.
Q: What are your career goals? Where do you hope to work post-graduation?
A: My ultimate career goal is to be a choreographer and to one day have my own dance company and nonprofit organization. Post graduation, I plan to choreograph works to be performed in various choreographic showings and festivals. Currently, I am interning for a nonprofit dance company and organization in New York City, and I hope to continue working and growing with that company after graduation.
Q: If there is a quote or motto you live by, what is it? How do you live by it?
A: I try to model my life after the saying “Keep moving forward.” From my experiences in college thus far, I have learned that there is really no value in letting the past cloud the present. In dance, it is so important, to keep moving forward and to keep allowing space for new information by letting go of past mistakes. If I feel that something didn’t go as planned, I try my best to approach the movement again with a new approach and mindset.