Exploring Creativity Through Writing and Dance: Amanda Burgess ’06
Creative and professional writing major; dance minor
Graduated in 2006
“I have several areas of scholarly interest; all of them lean to the creative side. I am always interested in the ‘newest’ poet, advances in professional writing (especially on the web) and the evolution of dance. I always knew I loved grammar and editing, but I realized creative writing and poetry as passions when I was a sophomore at Converse. I interviewed an English professor for the college’s paper about the Converse’s BFA in creative/professional writing. I hadn’t yet decided on a major, and after talking with him, I was excited about the possibilities the degree offered. The BFA opened doors for me into graduate school. Per a professor’s suggestion, I looked into the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I was accepted into this program which boasts distinguished national and international writers. In my second year, I was accepted as a reader for The Literary Review.
“For dance, I always knew I loved dance, but thought my performance days would be over in high school. It turns out that Converse added a dance minor the same year as the BFA. I was able to perform for four more years. With dance, I now teach in the Lawson Academy at Converse as well as perform with local theatre productions. I was also asked back as a guest choreographer with the Converse Dance Ensemble.”
What’s All the Hub-Bub?
“In 2008, I earned the top award in the 2008 Hub City Creative Writing Contest. The prize was a full scholarship to the week-long Wildacres Writing Workshop in Little Switzerland, North Carolina. This is a contest I had entered for two years prior and decided to give it a third try. It is an honor to be recognized by distinguished writers in your own community and then represent that community at a writing workshop. I am looking forward to more publications and awards in the future as I grow as a poet.”
The Creativity Separation
“Creativity is what separates us as individuals. We all have some degree of creativity in us, and it’s through writing, art, music, dance – even academic subjects – that we discover what we can contribute to the world through our creativity whether it’s becoming the next poet laureate or uncovering the next big scientific breakthrough.”
“Converse cultivated my talents because I was given the opportunity and encouraged to pursue them. I was not the best dancer when I auditioned for the Dance Ensemble, but I was given the opportunity to become a better dancer and teacher. I was not the best writer or poet when I was accepted into the BFA, but the department gave me the chance to hone in on my writing skills. Without their teaching and leading, I would not be a graduate of a prestigious MFA program now. Converse encourages women to be successful with their passions.”