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SHSU graduate students Thetford and Prokop in NobleMotion Dance Company

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 01:09


Lynn Lane| NobleMotion

Brittany Thetford is a graduate dance student at SHSU as well as a member of NobleMotion.


Lynn Lane| NobleMotion

Travis Prokop is a SHSU graduate dance student and a member of NobleMotion.

SHSU graduate students Brittany Thetford and Travis Prokop are members of NobleMotion Dance Company and have been chosen to perform at the Dance Gallery Festival held in Huntsville, Texas and in New York in October.

Thetford first started dancing when she was 12 years old because it looked like something she wanted to try.

“I didn’t really start getting serious with dance until I was about 15 or 16 years old,” Thetford said. “Growing up in a low income town, I would work four or five nights a week at a dance studio just so I could pay for my dance costumes because dance became something I really wanted to do. If you want it, go get it. That sounds cheesy and naive but you only get as much as you give. If you aren’t willing to eat the floor, you’re never going to figure out how not to fall. It is a process, enjoy it.”

After high school, Thatford decided to receive her undergraduate degree at Sam Houston State University and is now working on receiving her Master’s degree. Soon after graduation, Brittany came into contact with the owners of NobleMotion Dance Company, SHSu Dance professor Andy Noble and  his wifen Dionne.

“After graduating, I came into contact with the Nobles and have been dancing with their company for about 4 years” Thetford said.

Another member of NobleMotion Dance Company is graduate student Travis Prokop.

“I did not attend Sam Houston for my undergraduate degree so right now my main priority is to pull my own weight and do what Andy and Dionne expect of me” Prokop said.

While he was growing up, Prokop spent a lot of time with his grandmother who loved musicals and ‘Hello Dolly.’

“When I was 6, I would put on my mom’s heels and tap around. This is when they decided to put me into dance and I have been dancing ever since.”

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Prokop knew he wanted to join NobleMotion Dance Company.

“As soon as I came here, I wanted to be with the company. I went up to Andy and Dionne and told them that even though they didn’t know me, I was going to be in their company and would do whatever it takes to get there” Prokop said.

Both Thetford and Prokop are very excited about their upcoming performances at the Dance Gallery Festival.

Dionne Noble, owner of NobleMotion Dance Company, said that this will be the third annual year that the Dance Gallery Festival will be held at Sam Houston.

The festival takes place in New York and at Sam Houston State University. This will be the university’s third year for the festival. Astrid Von Ussar started the Dance Gallery Festival 6 years ago in New York and it is only getting stronger and stronger. Dance companies around the world apply to get in and the festival has about 11 to 12 companies that perform, 11 of which are coming here to perform at Sam Houston Noble said.

Thetford will be in an environmental piece called “Lorelei’s whisper” at Sam Houston and will also be in a piece called “Earth” with Prokop in New York.

Both Thetford and Prokop said they were excited for this year’s upcoming festival.

“We have people from Italy this year who have never been to Texas. I am really excited to take a class with these men, they are gorgeous and move like water” Thetford said.

“I am really excited to be going to New York and dancing with all of these great companies. We do real work and have real passions, we work really hard and are dedicated 110 percent. It’s so wonderful because I am not used to that” Prokop said.

“This is really great for students at Sam Houston. We have dancers from everywhere,” Noble said. “Companies are coming from Italy, we have a company coming from Senegal, Africa, and then companies from around the United States as well.”

You can see Thetford performance as well as many others at the SHSU Performing Arts Center on Oct. 5 or Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. General admission is $15 and tickets will be sold at the door.


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