Featuring DDD Alumni: Dancing and Beyond (Part 6)

Lisa Parsons Alumni, Education 0 Comments

This is the sixth article celebrating 25 years of DDD alumni and their accomplishments in dance and beyond. Alumni are sharing what they have been doing since graduation and how DDD has impacted their lives. The DDD family, past and present, appreciate all of the time, energy and efforts MISS JILLIAN and MR. ROB have given and continue to give to their students.

For those alumni who wish to share their story, please comment below.  It is never too late to add to the Alumni Spotlight. 

Thank you to all who contribute to Dancing and Beyond.  Alumni are listed alphabetically as the only rule.

Karalyse Hagen, Class of 2015

Karalyse is currently attending Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where she is majoring in Animation and Photography.  She plans to move to Hollywood in either Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 for a semester long internship in media production.  Currently, Karalyse is a freelance designer, and works behind the scenes on many projects around campus.

In the summer of 2015, Karalyse had ACL reconstruction surgery on her right knee. She has been spending the last two years recovering and gaining confidence in her physical abilities. “You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and dance was no different. I love tap dancing, and being unable to walk and confined to a knee brace for an entire year was really hard.”

Karalyse plans to continue to dance this fall in college, whether it is by herself or at a new studio in Peoria.  However, she knows she will have to have surgery on her left knee sometime in the near future.

Karalyse said, “I miss performing and sharing a stage with others who are so passionate about what they do. DDD is truly a family. Being part of DDD makes you feel so loved and supported, and I will forever be grateful for how dance has impacted my life. And for my career future, I’d like to believe my ambition and determination grew throughout my time at DDD, and that it has taught me how to dream big and bold.”

Hannah Nass, Class of 2012

Hannah Nass graduated in 2012 and attended Grand Valley State University.  During her first two years of college, Hannah continued to dance in a student club.   She then became a Zumba instructor at the Recreation Center at GVSU for the next two years.

Once in the Therapeutic Recreation program at GVSU, Hannah sat on the board of the Michigan TR Association, as well as being the President of the TR Student Association.  Hannah obtained a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and recently passed her certification exam, which means she is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and able to treat various populations in a variety of settings upon completion of her Internship at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Hannah says, “DDD was my world growing up and molded me into the person I am today. When I first started dancing, I was horribly shy. Jillian never gave up on the shy little girl, even when she turned into a loud and sassy teenager! DDD taught me confidence—I would have never been able to speak in front of my association, advocate for what I believe in, or take risks if it was not for Duhadway teaching me that I am strong, capable, and deserving.”

Hannah also has a message for current and future dancers at DDD: “Love each of those moments in the studio and on that stage, they will go by so fast. And, if you hang up those dance shoes, never lose the great qualities that DDD instilled in you.”

Hannah will “forever be a dancer at heart”.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 1), click here.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 2), click here.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 3), click here.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 4), click here.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 5), click here.

To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 7), click here.


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