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Nora Younkin
Nora Younkin is a graduate of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. She holds a B.F.A. in dance pedagogy and has a strong interest in performance and dance studies.

Views and ideas expressed through blog posts and social media are the opinions solely of the author and and do not represent the policies or opinions of any employers or organizations with whom Ms. Younkin is affiliated.

Entries by Nora Younkin

What the Heck Is Postmodern Dance?

(2) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 10:56 AM

2015-10-06-1444155797-6024016-StephenPetronioCompanyNonLocomotorPhotobyYiChunWu_007.jpgStephen Petronio Company | Non Locomotor | Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

For the premiere performance of the 2015/16 Dance Center of Columbia College Presenting Season, the Stephen Petronio Company's Bloodlines promised "to honor and curate a lineage of American postmodern dance masters." In this...

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I Teach Dance. Dance Moms Stresses Me Out.

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 1:00 PM

Dance Moms stresses me out.

It stresses me out for a variety of reasons, but for the moment I'll stick with the fundamental value system espoused on the program.

I watch Dance Moms every week. In some ways it's a guilty pleasure, in others it's an opportunity for introspection on...

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Free People Ballet-gate

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 3:24 PM

Free People Presents: FP Movement Ballet was posted on YouTube on May 12th. Yet, reflecting on it barely a month later, I know I'm late to the party in commenting on Free People Ballet-gate. So goes the lifespan of Internet phenomena.

I saw the video around...

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Dance and Capitalism: A Love-Hate Relationship

(15) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 9:59 AM

Photo: Lindsay Schlesser / Dancers featured: Maggie Bridger, Lianne Hart, Alex Neil

What is the biggest crisis facing contemporary concert dance? If you ask almost anyone in the field, they won't say talent is sparse. They won't say there is a creativity...

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COLEctive Notions Democratizes Choreographic Process

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 9:36 AM

Photo by William Frederking.

Collective, indeed. As many professional dance companies struggle with the usual difficulties of production on a shoestring budget (securing rehearsal and performance space, affording technical collaborators and paying performers fair wages, creating and executing a marketing strategy),...

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Silence: The Absence of Sound?

(2) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 9:13 AM

We conceive of silence as a void -- an unsettling condition that begs to be resolved. Silence in most social situations is perceived as uncomfortable. An awkward silence. A pregnant pause. A fleeting condition through which we pass, not moments we relish. Silence leaves us with nothing but our own...

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Dance Recitals: Icing on the Cake

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 3:01 PM


Dance recital season is in full swing, and the amount of tulle and glitter floating in the ether is enough to suffocate dancers, teachers and parents alike to the point of frenzy. Harried exclamations of "These tights have a run!" "I've lost my left...

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Artwork Is Work

(2) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 3:56 PM

An artist gallivants about a studio waiting to be possessed by a muse, as a work of art comes to be as if by its own volition. The ephemeral beauty or dark angst manifests for the consumption of patrons and the agent of creation fades back into the studio's sanctuary.

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Not Your Momma's Saturday Night

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 12:06 PM

Two tickets to the ballet and a fine dining experience sounds like a great night in a Frommer's guide or penciled in your rich aunt's pocket calendar, but let's face it: Sounds a little stuffy and expensive, doesn't it?

There's a happy medium between highbrow pretension and red cups...

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The Victimization of Big Bird and What It Means for Artists

(33) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 7:13 PM

The elephant in the room has morphed into a big, yellow bird.

How did Big Bird get dragged into the 2012 election kerfuffle? (I might add that he was dragged unwillingly -- at least according to Sesame Street's reps who wish for the brand to remain nonpartisan... Big Bird himself...

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Dance on the Small Screen, Part 1

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 2:49 PM

So for my latest post, I had to really put in couch time in order to catch up on some television. I've found the recent surge of dance shows on the small screen so compelling. Could it be a passing fad, or something more? In a series of posts, I'll...

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What the Heck Is Modern Dance?

(21) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 1:07 PM

Whether it's to relatives at a family party or a random guy at the bar, when people ask what I do and I respond that I'm a dancer (or a month ago, a "dance major"), such a simple answer invariably begs more questions. No, I am not an "exotic dancer."...

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I Have a Feeling We're Not in Chicago Anymore

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 11:54 AM

This past weekend, a cohort of Columbia College Chicago dance majors (including yours truly) loaded up a Megabus and headed for Madison, Wisconsin to participate in the North-Central regional American College Dance Festival.

It was a weekend filled with dance classes, performances, and presentations. We got to meet others...

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Moving to a Different Modus Operandi

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2012 | 4:03 PM

In reflection upon my final semester in this urban collegiate dance program, I find it relevant to discuss the intersection between dance training and professional performance and what it means to the Chicago audience.

As a dancer: Wow! I have so many peers doing wonderful things around the city. My...

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(4) Comments | Posted December 23, 2011 | 5:59 PM

There exists a small handful of cultural Christmas relics which are greeted each season with nostalgic warmth. They are as much a part of Christmas as the pine tree and the baby Jesus. There are the families that read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" each Christmas Eve in front of...

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What So You Think You Can Dance Has Done to the Word 'Contemporary'

(2) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 1:25 PM

In our not-so-distant past, the word "contemporary" simply meant, "occurring in the present." These days, it has the stunning power to elicit anything from an exasperated eye roll to a peeved tirade to a polite smile from a dancer.

I don't necessarily know how or why, but somewhere along the...

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