Emma Sutton is a violinist and a second-year graduate student at Juilliard. She has played with Florence and the Machine and others.
While most college-bound kids picture the next four years of their life to be full of books, lectures and tests, that’s not always the case. And according to three not-so-typical students, it doesn’t have to be.
For those such as Bailee Moore, Emma Sutton and David Norsworthy, a typical day is full of anything but books and tests.
“It’s a very different day than typical students expect,” said Sutton, a violinist at The Juilliard School. “Everyone has their own experience and way of doing things.”
Sutton’s way of doing things includes being a second-year graduate student at Juilliard as an award-winning violin virtuoso while working with bands including Florence and the Machine and The Roots on VH1. It also includes performing with Rufus Wainwright and The Trevor Project and participating in a benefit concert for Lauren Bush’s FEED organization as a member of the Salome Chamber Orchestra in collaboration with John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield and Michelle Williams.
“Every [concert] there is a surge I have and it reminds me why I love it,” she said.
Fellow Juilliard student Norsworthy, on the other hand, has a completely separate way of doing things while pursuing his collegiate and dancing career. Despite his schedule as a full-time student, the senior has performed works by David Earle, Danny Grossman, Paul Taylor, José Limón and Ohad Naharin. Norsworthy has also performed with Camille A. Brown and Dancers at the Joyce Theater in New York City and with Dancenorth at Melbourne’s State Theatre, produced by the Australian Ballet.
David Norsworthy is a senior at Juilliard studying dance and has traveled all over the world sharing and perfecting his craft.
However, the artist’s resume doesn’t end there; he founded FRESH Dance Intensive, a touring dance workshop that engages a faculty of emerging choreographers and is co-run by the Arusha Arts Initiative, which teaches arts empowerment workshops for disadvantaged youth in Tanzania.
“In terms of balance and time management, it’s obviously hard,” Norsworthy said. “But I think in a lot of ways, [being a college student and a professional dancer] work well together. I find the information I’m learning in school is solidified and enhanced by the information I gain in the professional environment. … I feed off the busy energy and keeping movement in my life. I enjoy it or else I wouldn’t be doing it.”
A usual day for the diehard dancer consists of a variety of different style classes including a few by-the-book courses before ending the day with rehearsal. The same goes for Sutton, who begins her day at 7 a.m., spending some practice time with her instrument of choice before taking on the day.
Bailee Moore is a junior at Ohio University who has entered the hip-hop world after releasing her YouTube video, “White girl raps fast.”
Life for Moore, a full-time hip-hop artist and marketing student at Ohio University, is a bit different while living in the small town of Athens, Ohio, attempting to balance the typical college life and taking on the spotlight in the hip-hop realm.
The junior’s career began in a less-traditional manner after posting a video on YouTube, “White girl raps fast.” Now, after producing and touring for over a year, she is preparing to release her newest EP, Game Changer, Nov. 27.
“[Balancing everything] is definitely hard,” Moore said. “But I make it work because I love it.”
In an attempt to maintain a normal college experience, Moore is planning to take 20 credit hours worth of classes (a full schedule) while recording, touring and spending time with friends and family — a feat Moore said seems impossible to some.
“People ask me all the time how I do it,” she said. “But if you want to make it in the music world, you can’t take a break.”
That type of mentality is shared among the world of aspiring artists as Moore, Norsworthy and Sutton continue to take on the stage in their own unique way. Each harboring the hope that one day they might end up dancing with a well-known company, choreographing, directing, playing a variety of music on her violin with a band, or even on the Top-40 chart next to the big names including Rihanna, Jay-Z or Lady Gaga.
According to Sutton, if you follow your heart and put in the work, anything can happen.
“Do what you love,” she said. “As you’re pursuing your dreams, ask yourself what you want to do and go for it no matter what others think. I mean, I balance all of these different things but I’m doing what I’m doing because I’m happy doing it.”