Dance has been a constant in Taylor-Leigh Adams’s life. As a student at VCUarts, her artistic skill and devotion to dance led her to join a production of Liz Lerman’s Still Crossing before the Virginia General Assembly, and participate in student-created choreographies and performances. During her sophomore year, she was selected as an Outstanding Dance Student Leader; the following year, she was awarded a Joan Oates Scholarship for achievement in K-12 dance education.
According to Adams, her craft is her guiding principle. “[Dance] has been my creative freedom,” she says, “my endorphin-high, my individual expression, my sense of discipline, and my way of life.”
Nevertheless, when she began applying to college, Adams suddenly doubted if being a professional dancer was for her. For two years, she took general education classes at a community college and at VCU “to figure myself out.” It wasn’t until a 2013 performance at the Grace Street Theater that she made up her mind to become a Dance + Choreography major.
“I distinctly remember attending the Dance Fall Senior Project concert … and bawling my eyes out both during and after the show because I knew that this is where I belong. No matter what I was doing, I had to be connected to the art and dance world.”
As a dancer at VCUarts, Adams has adapted her art form to a broad range of applications, reflecting the innovative spirit she brings to the classroom. She’s presented research on plant-based nutrition and ethics at the Dance Student Research Program, worked as a youth counselor at the American Dance Festival, participated in an independent study with the Richmond Ballet’s Minds in Motion program, and traveled as a dance diplomat to Panama to teach dance to underprivileged youth.
After graduating this December, Adams plans to stay in Richmond through the spring to work with students and a guest artist. She also plans to attend the American College Dance Festival at VCU in March and to assist with the choreography of the Theatre department’s production of Into the Woods in April.
After that? “I am excited to travel the world looking for opportunities to perform, teach, collaborate with other artists, learn, and share the joy of dance with other people and cultures.”