We are excited to announce a new monthly feature on the blog – “Get to Know Your Teachers!” Each month we will highlight a new teacher and use a Q & A format so you can hear their answers to our intriguing and informative questions. This month we profile Allison Doughty Marquesen.
Education: BFA in Dance, Univ. of MN, currently working on a MA in Holistic Health Studies at St. Catherine University
Teaching Experience: 11 years
Teaches at PSOD: Performing Arts Ballet Levels 3/4/5/6, Ballet Company
Where is the coolest place you have ever performed?
On New Year’s Eve 2000 I was 100 feet in the air dancing on a small platform at midnight! It was a fun (and little scary) way to ring in the millennium new year!
What is one thing you were taught and will always remember?
I learned from my dance teacher growing up that striving to be mediocre isn’t enough – that I should strive to be the best that I can be. Only then will I really fulfill my potential. This lesson taught me that it doesn’t do me any good to settle for less than what I am truly capable of. This holds true in all areas of life, not just in dancing. It’s also a reminder that sometimes we don’t know how much we are capable of until we set high goals. I think my students would agree that this is a lesson I try to instill in them!
What inspires you?
There are so many things that inspire me. The love of family and friends, the natural beauty of the world around us, travel, new experiences and ideas, music, art, and my students all make the top of the list.
Have you had a struggle in your dance journey and how did you overcome it?
There was a time in my life that I wasn’t sure what direction I was going, and dancing fell by the wayside for a while. I took the time to explore other avenues of my life and very quickly came back to dancing. This helped me to realize that while being a dancer is a large part of who I am, it is not all that I am. We are all capable of so many things and need to be open to all our blessings.
What do you believe is the most important way your faith is present in your career?
Quite simply, my dancing is a reflection of my truest self, and is therefore a reflection of my faith and spirituality. Dancing reminds me of who I am at my core.
What brings you joy when you’re not at Prairie School of Dance?
I love to spend time with my husband and my friends, do yoga, spend time in nature, read good books and have quiet time to myself.
How do you handle pre-performance nerves?
I remind myself that my body knows exactly what it is supposed to do – it’s done it a million times before and this time around will be no different! Taking deep breaths also really helps to calm me down if I need it!
Have you created a pre-performance regiment/routine or a tip you’d like to share?
In the few weeks before a performance I take special care of my health by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugar, and getting plenty of sleep. This ensures that I’ll be in tip top shape for the performances.