Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Dancing through school

Are we human, or are we dancer? That is the question Aubrey Heathcott, a junior majoring in dance with a minor in public relations, asks herself before every performance.

The popular Killers song “Human” is always humming through her mind as she makes her way to the stage with minty-fresh breath from the peppermint patty she snacks on, a pre-show tradition she has practiced since she was 7 years old. Heathcott has been dancing her entire life, and this past summer she had the opportunity to dance in Italy with the Atlanta-based dance company Staibdance. The opportunity, she said, came to her completely by chance.

“I was sitting on an airplane next to the director of this modern dance company in Atlanta called Staibdance,” Heathcott said. “I started talking to him, and he later invited me to join him and 25 other college dance majors from different universities to take a trip to Sorrento, Italy, and train for two weeks and perform one of the shows.”

She gained a lot as a dancer from her experience in Italy. She was largely impacted by the culture, she said, and the way that the Italian community participated in the arts.

“Just culturally it’s such a different atmosphere, and the arts are much more appreciated overseas,” Heathcott said. “The whole town came out to watch the show, which was just wonderful to have that kind of support.”

Juggling dance rehearsals, schoolwork, her sorority and a job at the Recreation Center can be hard work, but Heathcott has found a way to keep her sanity and her schedule all in check, said Zeta Tau Alpha sorority advisor Jessie Jones, who worked with Heathcott when she was the organization’s ritual chair.

“Aubrey has an incredible work ethic and manages to balance so many different roles. From teaching Zumba classes at the Rec Center to staying active in her sorority, she truly is a well-rounded student,” Jones said. “When you add in her dance classes, along with the shows she is selected to perform in, I’m amazed at how she does it all.”

Whitney Spota, the coordinator of group exercise for the University Recreation Center, works with Heathcott on a regular basis. She said Heathcott’s passion for dance is evident in the way she teaches her Zumba classes.

“Aubrey is finding ways to combine fitness with dance. She has a passion for both, which makes her an excellent instructor,” Spota said.

But in addition to the joy of performing, dancing also comes with its own special aches and pains, Heathcott said. She suffers from chronic Achilles tendinitis in her left Achilles tendon, which limits the range of motion in her foot.

“Any athlete is going to have aches and pains, but it’s part of the job. You have to learn how to tough out sticking your feet in an ice bucket,” Heathcott said.

Heathcott dreams of one day going to New York and dancing for the American Ballet Company, but she said considering it is such a competitive business, she would be just as pleased dancing for any company in New York or Chicago, as well as overseas again. For Heathcott, the question always remains: Is she human, or is she dancer?

“I always ask myself if I’m human or if I’m dancer. I’m usually dancer, and, if I am, I have a really good show,” Heathcott said.

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