The KC Dance Department’s annual dance concert will be 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Van Cliburn Auditorium.
The concert, “Continuum,” will offer a variety of dance styles and techniques taught by the KC Dance Department.
Tickets are $10, $5 for students with KC identification.
Tickets can also be purchased using cash or check beginning at 6:15 p.m. the night of the performance at the auditorium’s box office. The auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m.
Meet one of the dance students who will be performing that evening.
by Ryan Wayne
Sophomore Veronica Sundin has had quite the life experience in just two decades. In 2007, 8-year-old Veronica moved from Tyler to Brazil with her family to gain a new viewpoint on life.
“My mom is Brazilian, and my parents wanted my sister and I to grow up with two different views of the world,” said the 20 year-old. Sundin is now considered bilingual and bicultural, speaking both English and Portuguese fluently, with a decent Spanish background. She enjoyed her five and a half years there, finding great value in the lessons learned and the person she became. She said her favorite part about having lived in Brazil is “what it gave me— if that makes sense. It allowed me to have a different perspective of the world.”
Describing her transition from her early life in America to moving to South America, she said, “I went from being in a first-world country in a middle-class family to living in a country where my socio-economic status fluctuated a lot.” One thing she observed about life in Brazil was the level of discrepancy between the economic classes, commenting that it was, “very evident and widespread.”
Once Sundin moved back to East Texas, she said she noticed a change in herself after having been immersed in a different country with a completely different and complex culture. She said living in Brazil matured her, with the level of expectation placed on children there causing her to grow up faster.
“I really had to learn to take care of myself and to do things for myself. That just kind of sparked the latent feeling in me that I am the only person that can make things that I want to happen, happen. So I have to go out and do that myself,” she said.
After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School, she came to KC to try out for the Rangerettes in 2016. But this year was not her time. However, Veronica pushed forward and stayed at KC for the next two semesters, heavily involving herself in the dance department with instructors Angela Aulds and Shelley Wayne.
Sundin worked under Aulds in both Ballet and Modern classes for those first two semesters, and impressed the instructor with her perseverance.
“After not making Rangerettes her first year, she didn’t let that hold her back,” Aulds said. “She continued to flourish in dance classes and took on extra opportunities that were presented to her.”
Sundin found hope and inspiration in Aulds’ class and kept pursuing her dream.
“Mrs. Aulds’ vision for her students is so strong that it seamlessly carries on into class in the way that she teaches, the way that she talks to her students and the way that she directs them,” Sundin said. It is this vision, along with a personal drive that pushed Sundin to try out again for Rangerettes in 2017. This year, it was her time. Not only did she become a member of the 78th line of the KC Rangerettes, she was also chosen to be a member of Industry Dance Company — Aulds’ modern dance company within the KC Dance Department.
“I have always been a huge fan of Veronica’s,” Aulds said. “She has always been a mature person and always abided by the rules. One could say she strives to be the best version of herself each and every day.”
It is this mentality that has allowed Sundin to thrive here at KC.
“I am a firm believer that you ultimately make your own destiny,” she said.
As Sundin’s journey at KC comes to a close, she is sad to say good-bye, but excited to transfer to a larger university to continue her studies. She plans to study international relations, with a desire to become a foreign service officer or lawyer in the future.
When it comes to her dance career, Sundin sees herself potentially teaching at a studio or continuing to dance in college. Aulds is also sad to see her go, commenting that her favorite part of working with Sundin is, “seeing her flourish into the woman and artist she is today. I could not be more proud of her.”
With her drive and worldliness, there is no doubt that Veronica will continue to flourish as she moves into the next chapter.