Flyer in First Position
When it comes to standing out, Linxin Li is the person to watch. The senior from Chengdu, Hunan Province, China, will graduate in May with a concentration in dance through UD’s new major in theater, dance and performance technology.
How did you become UD’s first dance major? My parents wanted me to study marketing, and I changed to psychology because that’s what I wanted to study. Then, I was thinking about getting arts credits and I saw ballet was a major. I thought, “Wow! They have dance!” I talked to the adviser, Michelle Hayford, the head of the theater department, and I told her, “I want to do this.”
What do your parents think of your major switch? In China, I went to a dance school and I worked for a dance company for two years. I’ve been dancing my whole life, so they support me. Also, they come to a lot of competitions so they can see my achievement.
Why do you love to dance? The studio and the stage are the places I’ve found peace. They are also places I escape to. I am not a good talker, so this is my way of sharing my feelings, through body movement.
Is it lonely being the only senior in a new concentration? I take classes with non-major students, but they also designed a class for me. The class is a higher level of modern dance and ballet. Amy Jones teaches that class; she’s an artist-in-residence and danced for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. for eight years.
How did you come to be featured on the cover of (DE-FI)ance Magazine? I did modeling back in China, usually just studio shooting. Last year, some agent found me at Know Theatre in Cincinnati when I went there to watch a show, and later I signed with their company, Heyman Talent Agency. Two years ago, I went to a DE-FI open call audition for a magazine cover shooting and became the cover model for 2018.
What are your post-grad plans? I’m currently applying for graduate school to get a master’s in dance. I recently got accepted at Florida State University. I want to be a choreographer and do my own work. I want to have my own dance company and just travel the world — that would be the best situation of all. In the end, though, I want to be a dance professor.