WSU Student, Amanda Riddle dances her way to the top

Creating a platform for your future career is just the beginning; the next step is hitting the stage.

“Dance is a way of communicating without saying a word,” said Amanda Riddle, a WSU dance major who is lives and breathes dance.

Riddle spends her weekends rehearsing for the hip-hop group the Next Level Dance Company as well as performing at LUNA Royal Oak. Riddle has been a part of the Luna Dancers ongoing two years, where the group exclusively performs at the 21 and up nightclub in downtown Royal Oak. Riddle’s friends introduced her to the group.

With opportunities like performing at the Fillmore Detroit, to working as a choreographer for Company C, an all girls dance group, Riddle said her experiences in the dance industry are preparing her for her dream to continue dancing and to open up a dance collective in Detroit.

From a young age, Riddle said she was drawn to hip-hop dancing and performing. Her mother watched as her love for dance strengthened from second grade when she began to take ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop classes. .

“(Dance) became a big part of my life right from the time I began elementary school, and since then I just never wanted to stop,” Riddle said. “I was always dancing around the house to any kind of music when I was very young.”

Along with her time rehearsing and performing for dance groups, Riddle casts for various dance concerts at WSU like the Spring Dance Concert and the December Dance Concert. Riddle also invests her time with Alternative Spring Break Detroit, a student organization that strives to bring value and understanding of the city of Detroit through volunteering and exploring the city.

As her dance dream continues, Riddle also works on her photography business, 313 Photos in the D, where she mainly photographs senior photos and wedding ceremonies. Her motto is that she wants to “focus on it being affordable for people who want quality photos.”

As a senior at WSU, Riddle said she balances dancing at company rehearsals, performing at LUNA and her photography along with her classes at WSU. Her several-hour dance practices are spread throughout the weekend, and she coordinates her other dance practices during the week around her class schedule.

Although the long hours and stressful injuries take a toll on her social life, the dancer said her passion for dance remains an outlet for her stress.

“Dancing has always been a way to let out all of my emotions and stress and leave it in the studio or on the stage,” she said

Riddle said that people should do what they are passionate about and not worry what others think.

“Not everyone has to be a prima ballerina to be a great dancer, not everyone expresses themselves in the same way,” she said. “Recently, I’ve realized that someone can have a piece of choreography down perfect, but if the person is lacking emotion or feeling, that dancer is not going to perform as well as the dancer next to them who doesn’t know the whole dance, but is giving it all they’ve got.”

Riddle said she lives by the words, “No matter what the dance is, even if it’s not your favorite piece, dance your heart out. Give it everything you have.”

Riddle performs at LUNA on Thursday nights at 11:30 p.m. Follow her on Instagram: @tappyfeetamanda

Contact Arts and Entertainment Editor Mayssa Masri: 248-924-7406 or mayssamasri.tse@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mayssamasri

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