I have had my website for about two years now. When I created this site, it was simply an online portfolio that was a requirement of one of my undergraduate courses. Now, it is also slowly becoming a place of creative and scholarly exploration. I have received multiple jobs by sharing my website, as it is an easy site to store my manifesto, bio, resume, and CV. My website has also become a repository for some of my creative work that has been posted online. It feels rather powerful to have a single place on the internet that houses a great deal of my current and past work.
In many ways, the website has become a small extension of my artistic expression. However, when I first made my website, I decided to advertise myself as a dancer first and everything else second. Now, my priorities within the field have shifted. I am most interested in being a scholar and teaching artist - and although dance performance is still a part of my life, it is secondary to my teaching, writing, and researching. Shifting the focus of my website has not felt like an easy task, and I still feel like I have a long way to go. This week, I have completely redone my “Artistic Statements” page and changed it to my “Teaching Artist Manifesto.” Changing the title of this page as well as the actual content felt very satisfying. Although the general theme of the page has stayed the same (I have stubbornly had the same goals within the field for many years, it is just my ideas of how to complete those goals that have shifted), I was struck by how much more confident and straightforward my statements have become in the past year. I feel like I have found what I care most about and some ways to actually do something with and about them - which is incredibly powerful. I am not sure if I would have realized this shift in myself if I did not have to complete the manifesto assignment for my graduate school coursework.
Although I have worked on this website quite a bit, I still have many ideas for improvements. I have edited my "Gallery" page with the goal of prioritizing the work that is most important to me currently - while also giving myself space to add features in the press as they appear to be more and more frequently arising. I also know that I need to update my bio, resume, and CV as soon as I can. The recent addition of this blog space is especially an area that I would like to cultivate more. I hope to be able to share more of my writing and brainstorming ideas here. I know I have wonderful friends and colleagues that occasionally have read my blog, and the sense of community that is sparked through conversations about my writing is such a joy. Lastly, I would like to find a spot on the website where I can keep a repository of research articles that are relevant to my pedagogical beliefs and current research. Ideally, I would like to create a page that people can view, but also add to if they would like. I am not sure technically how or if that is possible, but I plan on finding that out very soon. I believe a website can be a powerful tool for expression and community-building, so I hope to cultivate that as much as possible!