Days are becoming longer as the air gets warmer, which for Manhattanville seniors mean graduation is right around the corner. The minutes are running out before Amanda Krapp, Dance and Theater ’14 has to present her senior thesis, a process she’s been in preparation for about a year.
Krapp began clicking her heels and falling into pliés at the age of 3 and it all started when her Nana signed her up for children’s dance classes. She picked her up and drove to different towns every weekend for lessons and shows. Both her grandparents and parents were fully supportive of her dancing. “After they saw how much I loved it, they fell in love. They’ve never missed a show I’ve been in,” said Krapp.
Her diversity as a dancer is notable. In high school she discovered different genres including jazz, hip-hop, modern, lyrical and even went out her comfort zone to explore belly and Spanish dancing. She enjoys it all, but contemporary is where her heart is. “I’m a very musical and emotional dancer. That’s just how I am. That’s kind of the basis of it, and it just feels good to do,” said Krapp.
When her alter-ego surfaces and she climbs on that stage, one would never guess she’s ever struggled with confidence. Krapp had plans on quitting dance altogether when preparing for college. This blonde, bright blue-eyed charismatic girl did have issues of not believing enough in herself to think that she would get anywhere with her dancing. She admitted, “Contrary to what happens here, in high school I was always third best to these two girls that I danced with and I was always thinking about jobs…like do I want to audition my life away,” said Krapp.
Manhattanville was the only college that she auditioned for the dance program. Every other college she applied to would’ve been to study psychology. “And last minute I decided I didn’t want to stop dancing.” Call it fate, but with her decision on coming to this school she wasn’t forced to forfeit her passion.
Krapp has always strived to be a well-rounded student. She loves to learn and never had plans on entering a conservatory, always fearing that if she did go to school solely for dance something would happen to her body that would leave her disabled. Luckily for her she’s never had to endure a serious injury and with relief she shares that she’s only ever sprained her foot once, which didn’t much affect her.
“They say it goes fast. It really goes fast. Freshman and sophomore year were kind of slow, then you’re a junior. Then you’re a senior, and everything’s real,” said Krapp. She began exploring her two-part senior thesis topic in her junior year. Last semester she wrote her paper on the effects of dance therapy and depression. For her research she said, “I had to pull from the corners of the Internet and the library” as there isn’t much information available on the relation of both topics. Krapp is currently working on her dance piece, roughly 15 minutes long with a cast of five members. It’s a grueling process with often-late rehearsals but what makes it easier for her, are her committed dancers. Cast member, Alexandra Montalbano ’15 finds working with Amanda to be an incredible experience. “She’s fun and creative, forming her movements on the spot and it’s really interesting to watch her process. I’m extremely proud to be in her piece,” said Montalbano, and describes it as a beautiful work of art that brings light to a really deep issue.
Each of them represents a symptom of depression, set in a dark place mentally at the beginning. “As the piece progresses one person finds her solace that she can get better and passes it through the other girls,” she said. They all end finding their happiness by looking back at what they’ve endured knowing they’re not hundred percent cured but there’s hope by finding inner peace through dancing.
Hoping to leave an impact on her audience, she doesn’t want them to walk away “feeling bad”. She elucidates, “The reason I’m trying to end it on a higher note is that too many of these pieces end so sad and there’s never a resolution. And not to say that depression can be cured, you might not find a cure for it and not everyone can be fixed. I just don’t want people to walk away feeling that if you’re broken; you’re going to be broken forever,” said Krapp.
Her inspiration sprouted from her high-school best friend who went through a state of extreme depression when she couldn’t dance for a while because of an injury. Krapp was the only person she turned to and she thought it was a lot for her to hold onto because she didn’t tell anyone else. “I was always worried that if anything went wrong it was on me,” said Krapp. She had watched her go through the whole process which is what she turned everything she’s done in her thesis into. She would love for her to see it, but they are now distant friends. Regardless, she’s overwhelmed with excitement to present it. While holding her small hands together she smiles while saying, “I can’t wait to see it all put together and I’m probably going to cry like a baby,” said Krapp.
As this academic year approaches its close, she’s making moves to plan out her post-college career. For now, she doesn’t know exactly where her path is headed, but she has plans on meeting with advisors in anticipation of getting a kick start in the right direction. She wants to leave her stamp on the dance community at Mville and hopes that once her career is set she can give back to others. Knowing what it’s like to feel lost; Krapp believes that it’s important to provide guidance to students. “If I do get my foot in the door, it would be great to help someone else out.”