From doctor to dancer at Wayne State

From doctor to dancer at Wayne State
Samuel Horning dancing in the studio.

Samuel Horning's first interest at Wayne State was plastic surgery. Then he pivoted in his second year to dance. Samuel was blown away by Wayne State's remarkable dance program, but he had some financial concerns about being a dance student. The department offered him a talent scholarship and a Maggie Allesee scholarship, giving him the financial confidence to pursue his passion at Wayne State.

Now a senior about to graduate, Samuel reflects on the opportunities he experienced through the Department of Dance.

What do you like best about Wayne State?

I really appreciate that Wayne State is more of a commuter university. I was never interested in attending a college that was overactive in student events in which the purpose of college—education—was forgotten. When I made the decision to receive my bachelor's, I wanted to be certain that my hard-earned money was going toward my future, rather than to my Friday evening parties.

Why is scholarship support important to you?

I have received a talent scholarship and a Maggie Allesee scholarship from the Department of Dance for eight semesters. I have also received an academic scholarship from Wayne State, as well as summer funding to travel and research in my field. I have received the Karen Ruth Lacoff Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Dance, the Meredith Ilene Campbell Endowed Scholarship in Dance, the Lisa Nowak Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Dance and the Henry M. Seldon Scholarship. These scholarships have been crucial in providing opportunities for me to further my education and have presented connections for my future career.

Can you describe a pivotal moment from your Wayne State education that has impacted your future plans?

During my junior year in the dance department, I was afforded the opportunity to dance and perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and The Joyce in New York. These opportunities are extremely rare and unprecedented for dance students. It was because of the fantastic faculty and the connections they created between the students and professionals in the field that allowed for these opportunities. I now plan to live and dance in D.C. after college, and I will be traveling back and forth from New York.

Are you involved in any student groups or other campus activities?

I am the current president of WSU Dance Workshop. Dance Workshop is a student-produced company at Wayne State University that gives its members a creative outlet to choreograph, perform and grow as artists. The company aims to embody all characteristics of a professional dance company including showcase, outreach, fundraising and publicity responsibilities. Dance Workshop continues to strive for excellence and innovation in the education of emerging artists in the dance world. I am also the personal assistant to Jeffrey Rebudal, area head of the dance department.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time is sparse, but I try to leave behind my thoughts as an artist as often as possible. I love to be outside to provide a temporary escape from the walls of a studio. I enjoy hiking, kayaking and other physical activities. I’ve been trying to get into more reading lately; hopefully I’ll create that habit this summer!
What are your plans for after graduation?

I’ll be teaching dance and taking summer workshops in various locations through the summer. I’ll also be touring to South Korea with a company I dance within, ArtlabJ. I plan to move to Washington, D.C. in early September where I’ll be working as an independent contractor.

You can support dedicated students like Samuel Horning by giving to scholarships at Wayne State.


(May 6, 2015)

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