Shuffles Senior Spotlight shines today on Isabel Kingston, who just this month graduated from The Chapin School.
This summer Isabel, 17, will “tap” into her Shuffles training to teach at a summer dance camp for children in New York City. She will also be continuing her own dance training when she travels to Los Angeles for several weeks of dance intensives.
A singer, actor, dancer (and violinist!), Isabel tells us she’ll miss the vibrant bustle of everything here in New York when she heads to the quieter campus of Princeton University this fall. “I’ll miss all the amazing performing arts opportunities that are right at my fingertips, though I hope to continue to pursue the arts in college by joining a dance company and a capella group at Princeton.” She is also considering getting a certificate – similar to a minor – in dance!
As she enters college in the fall, Isabel hopes to study journalism, public policy and foreign affairs. “I love to write and learn about issues related to global health”. It’s no surprise then that Isabel cites Michelle Obama as an inspiration, and artistically, the dancer/choreographer Brian Friedman.
We asked Isabel to share with us what she’ll miss most about Shuffles. “I’ll miss the incredible friends I’ve made at Shuffles— though I know we’ll stay in touch for many years to come. I’ll miss the incredibly positive yet challenging learning environment, and the amazing teachers that have pushed me to grow as a tap dancer and performer each year. I’ll always remember the feeling of adrenaline and camaraderie during the opening moments of 42nd Street, when the curtain first comes up during the time-step section. It filled me with so much joy to be doing such a lively and joyful dance surrounded by some of my best friends.” She tells us one of her favorite roles at Shuffles was being a sparkly rat and dancing in the big group number “Dance dance dance” choreographed by tap legend Harold Cromer and taught to her by Shelby Kaufman!
We never let our seniors take off without sharing their favorite dance scene on the stage or screen; for Isabel it’s “Cool” from the movie/musical “West Side Story”. We also love to learn something about them that we didn’t know. “I have perfect pitch…which means if you name a note I can sing it on demand, or if you sing a note I can tell you what note it is without checking!”
Isabel told us that Shuffles has taught her an important lesson that she will carry with her to college and beyond. “Confidence is so important both on and off the stage! It’s so much better to be “strong and wrong” than timid and lukewarm. “
We wish Izzy the best of love, luck and support for her new adventure at Princeton.