Q&A with Student Artist: Isabelle Garlotte

Isabelle Garlotte is a senior at Ole Miss who is currently working towards her bachelors of science in biology. She is originally from Flower Mound, Texas and has been dancing ever since she was a little girl. We had the opportunity to interview Isabelle to learn more about her passion for dancing and how she makes it her own art.

Keep reading below to see what Isabelle has to say!

Q: Earliest childhood memory of dancing?  How did you get into dancing?
A: I started dancing when I was 3-years-old and danced for about a year-and-a-half. I stopped for a while and then picked it back up when I was 10 and have been dancing ever since. My earliest memory of dancing was my very first dance recital doing a ballet dance to “Under the Sea” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

Q: What type of dancing do you do and why do you do this over other forms of dancing?
A: I do lots of different styles of dance including modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, and ballet. However, ballet is by far my favorite. I love ballet the most for many reasons. First, because ballet is all about being as beautiful and graceful as you can, while still being strong and powerful. There is something so special about the quality of the movement.. I also love ballet because it has so much structure. Ballet is one of the hardest dance forms because there is a right way to do the steps and it takes a lot of dedication to learn to do things the correct way. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I love that there is always some clear goal to strive for to improve your dancing.

Q: How long have you danced for Ole Miss Student Dance? Do you teach classes? What do you do with OMSD?
A: I have danced with Ole Miss Student Dance (OMSD) since my freshman year at Ole Miss. I knew that I wanted to continue dancing in college, so I immediately sought out OMSD to be able to keep up with something I am so passionate about. OMSD has weekly open classes that anyone can come to and the members of the OMSD take turns teaching classes. Every year OMSD also puts on a completely student run performance. OMSD members coordinate the theater space, the costumes, the music, the choreography, and the dancing. The majority of our time in OMSD goes towards this performance. I have had the pleasure of dancing in the show every year and being a choreographer this past year as well.

Q: Favorite quote:
A: “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never do it any other way.”

Q: What does dancing mean to you? (i.e. form of therapy, relaxation, etc.)
A: For me dancing is both a passion and a distraction. Dancing is freeing, but it is also a lot of work. It gives me something else to focus on and work hard at so that the other stressors in my life, such as school or work, are no longer on the front of my mind.

Q: Where all have you performed/ danced?
A: I danced in high school at a local studio in Texas and was a member of a local pre-professional ballet company, LakeCities Ballet Theatre. We performed locally and we also competed in the international dance competition, Youth American Grand Prix, where we qualified to compete in the finals in New York City my senior year. In college I have been a member of Ole Miss Student Dance, our student-run dance company, and Mississippi: the Dance Company, our dance company run by faculty. As a member of Mississippi: the Dance Company, I had the pleasure of attending the American College Dance Association conference when it was held at Ole Miss my sophomore year.

Q: Who are some dancers that you look up to/ that inspire you to keep going?
A:  One of my favorite professional dancers is Sarah Lane who is a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Sarah was a guest artist for a few of the performances I danced in at my ballet company in high school. Sarah was so kind to us and is such an amazing dancer. It was so inspiring to get to share the stage with such an incredible person.

Q: Favorite memory of dancing?  Tell us about it. 
A: My favorite memory of dancing is of performing in the snow scene in “The Nutcracker“ in high school. I am a huge fan of Christmas and as a ballet dancer you tend to either absolutely love or absolutely hate “The Nutcracker.” I, personally, love it. The music makes me so happy and the snow scene is by far my favorite. It has some of the most beautiful costumes and dancing in the whole ballet and there is something so magical about dancing as the fake snow is falling all around you. 

Q: Who taught you how to dance and has it been something in your family or are you the only dancer in your family?
A: I am the only dancer in my family. My mom put me back in dance lessons because all of my friends were doing it and I wanted to do it too.

Q: Favorite TV Show/ Movie?
A: Favorite TV show: Scrubs

Favorite Movie(s): Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and pretty much any Disney movie

Q: Have you had any silver linings during this global pandemic?
A: Although I probably won’t get to perform again due to the pandemic and graduating from college, I am very thankful for my good health.I have been focusing on that and the time that I have had with my family.

Q: Plans for after graduation?
A: After graduation this December I plan on going to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Genetics.