WNC Performing Arts Scholarship recipient Haley Davis transitioned from her dance and choreography career to higher education during the health pandemic.
If there was a benefit from the COVID-19 health pandemic for Haley Davis, it was definitely rediscovering education.
While COVID left many people working from home, Davis was unable to continue her professional dance career while the world was locked down in a struggle to preserve lives and prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
In the interim, Davis decided to use the downtime to further her education. As the Performing Arts Scholarship recipient at Western Nevada College, she went in a direction that was unanticipated.
“For me, slowing down and focusing on my college education was challenging; I was forced to let go of my ego and forced to let go of how I thought my life would look at this age,” Davis said. “If you would've asked me four years ago if I ever planned on going back to school, the answer would have been a strong no. However, here I am today, with a completely new purpose and a new love for education.”
In the lull created by the pandemic, Davis discovered a passion for higher education.
“I think it's important to say that everyone’s journey is different; and that for me, right now in my life, attending college was one of the smartest decisions I made,” she said.
After she graduates with an associate degree from WNC, Davis plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno or UNLV.
Of course, Davis had every reason to think that education wasn’t necessary in her career trajectory.
She grew up on the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company stage and in the dance studio of her mother, choreographer Gina Kaskie Davis. She moved to Los Angeles at 18 to pursue a dance career, leading to a variety of opportunities and success. She has been featured as the lead dancer in Haliene’s music video “Whisper.” She has trained and performed as a company member of Radiance, under the direction of So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Rudy Abreu. In addition, as a member of the Step One Dance Company, she performed on the Holland America Cruise Lines.
“Every college professor has the satisfaction of watching their students grow and succeed during their college years. I am truly fortunate that I have the opportunity to watch some of them actually grow up on our stage,” said WNMTC Director and Producer Stephanie Arrigotti, as well as the Professor of Music at WNC. “Haley first performed with us when she was only 3 years old. Even then, she was a perfectionist and we had to hold her back from directing everyone else's foot positions! Now, at 21, she is a sought-after choreographer whose numbers win top honors and an eye-popping dancer who performs on the world stage, with an artistry that is breathtaking. How fitting that she has connected her education in psychology with her passion for dance by working toward developing therapy for performers.”
Presently, Davis travels the country as a professional assistant for multiple world renowned dance conventions, including Adrenaline and Revive Dance companies, and is on the faculty of one of Canada’s top conventions, Elite Dance Productions. All of which have been achieved through hard work and determination.
“Carving out a professional career in dancing has easily been one of the most difficult things I've done in my life; the dance industry is cutthroat,” Davis said. “I can't count on my hands the amount of times I've been told ‘no,’ at an audition. However, what I've realized thus far in my career is it's not the dream jobs that fill you up inside, it's the people you meet, the experiences you create and the indescribable feeling of putting your entire soul into what you do and never giving up.”
Davis credits her mom, Gina, WNMTC’s choreographer and assistant director, and Arrigotti for more than making it possible to become a professional dancer and choreographer.
“I owe so much of who I am as a performer, but also as a person to these two,” she said. “Theater and the arts is more than just a career. You learn about life. My mom and Stephanie have taught me how to pick myself up when things get difficult, they taught me time management, and the most important thing of all, how freeing it feels to do what you love.
“So many people today work a 9-5 job just to pay the bills. However, I can say, with so much gratitude, that I get to do what I love for a living and because of them, I've never had to work a day in my life.”
Being back in Carson City in late August to perform in “Home Again,” WNMTC’s return to performing in front of live audiences, really was a homecoming for Davis.
"‘Home Again’ was not like the other shows I was in, though,” Davis said. “This show was one of the most special performances I've had the pleasure of being a part of. The people I got to perform alongside of, not only watched me grow up, but inspired my career in performing arts. They are my role models, my earliest idols and most importantly, my family.”
Start Planning for Spring Semester
Plan ahead to continue at WNC this coming spring or take the necessary steps to make Western your new home for higher education.
Registration for spring classes begins Nov. 8 for returning and continuing students and Nov. 15 for new students. To help students prepare for spring semester, the schedule of classes is now available at www.wnc.edu/class-schedule/.
As students prepare for spring semester, note in-person classes require that students be vaccinated. Students must complete a vaccination form at https://www.wnc.edu/admissions/forms. This link also provides information on how students can access medical and religious waiver forms. However, it is not necessary for students to be vaccinated if they take classes online.
Students new to WNC can apply for admission and take care of other pre-registration requirements at www.wnc.edu/starthere/ so they are prepared to register by Nov. 15.
Scholarships are available through WNC Foundation. Apply for 2022-23 Foundation Scholarships and 2021-22 William N. Pennington CTE Scholarships at wnc.edu/scholarship.
Spring semester classes begin Jan. 24.
Individuals can receive personal assistance from Student Services in preparation for spring semester by setting up an appointment with counseling at 775-445-3267 or email@example.com..
Deadline nears for high school seniors to apply for Nevada Promise Scholarship
Nevada’s State Legislature obviously wants high school seniors to attend college immediately after graduating.
The Legislature has provided funding to cover tuition and other mandatory fees not met by federal or state aid for up to three years through the Nevada Promise Scholarship.
Nevada high school students graduating in spring 2022 must apply for the Nevada Promise Scholarship no later than Oct. 31 to receive this gratuitous opportunity.
To apply or to learn more about the Nevada Promise Scholarship, go to www.wnc.edu/promise/ and "Click to Apply!".
The scholarship stands to save Nevada families more than $3,000 per year. There are no income or high school GPA requirements and the scholarship is open to all Nevada high school students graduating between Aug. 1 and June 15 who begin classes at WNC in the fall immediately following graduation.
WNC is committed to helping applicants fulfill the requirements to maintain eligibility. Other requirements to receive the scholarship are completing a training session, applying for FAFSA, following up with the Financial Assistance with requested documentation, fulfilling community service obligations, meeting with your mentor, taking a placement test, attending a new student orientation and registering for at least 12 units of classes.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Faces of Native America Art Show on display
Artist Emily Smuda contributed multiple paintings to the Many Faces of Native America exhibit, which is showing through Dec. 31 in the Bristlecone Atrium Gallery at WNC. Experience the rich and dynamic cultures of Native-Indigenous America as expressed through art in the Bristlecone Atrium Gallery this fall on the WNC Carson City campus.
Celebrate all of the diversity of Native-Indigenous Nations as the “Many Faces of Native America” exemplifies that Native Peoples are still here, they are culturally diverse, and thriving artistically and poetically through voice, song, faces and generational connection.
“Each person is born with design, colors and spirituality, which compels and guides the individual throughout their lifetime,” said exhibit coordinators Lorraine Plympton and Sylvia Verdugo.
Plympton and Verdugo said that visitors may find some of the artwork thought-provoking and even painful.
“The Indigenous history is not for the faint of heart. We are resilient nations that have persevered against genocide,” they said.
“Many Faces of Native America” will be shown through Dec. 31.
Indigenous students, staff and alumni of WNC contributed artwork expressing themselves in mediums such as painting, printmaking, digital media, photography, graphic art, ceramics, sculpture, book art, mixed media, song, bead work, poetry and more.
Artists who have already submitted artwork for the exhibit are Bretta Guzzetta of the Chippewa/Choctaw Nations, Tera Kannan of the Washoe Nation, Karter Conway of the Washoe Nation, Dr. Myrton Running Wolf of the Blackfeet/Wasco Nations, Emily Smuda of the Washoe Nation and Lyndah Steele of the Washoe/Oneida Nations.
Karter was recognized as Best of Show for his painting, “Pieces of Me.”
Exhibit coordinators Plympton and Verdugo will be accepting art submissions from Native-Indigenous artists throughout the length of the exhibit.
For more information or to contribute to the exhibit., email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org..
Bretta Guzzetta of the Chippewa-Choctaw Nations contributed three pieces of art to the Many Faces of Native America, including “Native War Dragon.”
Community invited to Dia de los Muertos Celebration
The community is invited to attend Dia de los Muertos, a traditional Mexican celebration that honors deceased loved ones and/or their heroes by creating an altar with their pictures and favorite foods.
Students from the Western Nevada College Latino Leadership Academy and the Associated Students of Western Nevada will present the sixth annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration on Nov. 4-5 in the Bristlecone Building on the Carson City campus.
Enjoy the altar displays on both days. There will also be a contest as part of the altar display, which will be in the Bristlecone Hallway Gallery.
Sugar skull face painting, food, games and more are set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Bristlecone Building.
For information, phone 775-445-3271.