Student Spotlight – Sabrina Fridley: Dancing Storyteller

Sastudent_spotlightbrina Fridley, a senior nursing major and the head of Ayo, Cedarville’s dance organization, has been dancing since she was three years old.

“My mom just put me in dance — a combination of tap, jazz, all that fun stuff — and I actually hated it my very first year,” Fridley said.

However, she said she tried again the next year, and has been dancing ever since, including spending time on a competitive team in junior high and some of high school. She said it was the support and encouragement of a good childhood friend, who attended dance classes with her, her mother and her family that kept her pursuing dance.

“My mom has always been my little cheerleader, and has always supported me and encouraged me to continue dancing, and all my family has been super supportive. They always come to my shows,” Fridley said.

Fridley  had another creative opportunity while she was growing up: modeling. She won a photo shoot in Chicago while participating in a child pageant. She said she considers it an embarrassing but funny story from her childhood, and she still has the pictures and measurements from the photo shoot.

Fridley discovered Ayo before she came to Cedarville and was excited to have the opportunity to continue dancing while in college. She said the dance organization has provided a way for her to make good friends and to take a break from studying, as well as a way to worship.

“For me, dance has always been a way for me to connect with God and express myself,” she said. “It’s one of those chances where I get to kind of worship in my own way again.”

For Fridley, an integral part of dancing is worship and having a mindset that glorifies God and acknowledges the ability to dance comes from him. While some forms of dance are more conducive to worship than others, Fridley said she has a passion to dance in a way that is worshipful in itself, and she encourages others to worship as well. She said she always tries to keep things in perspective and be thankful for the ability to dance.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to share some sort of story that hopefully kind of impacts somebody’s life, and hopefully they can see the joy and whatever story [I’m] trying to show people,” she said.

While she likes every kind of dancing except hip-hop, Fridley’s favorites are tap and lyrical contemporary. She has also had the opportunity while involved with Ayo to choreograph both for herself and for other students in the organization. While she said she finds choreographing tap more complicated than dancing, lyrical contemporary is her favorite type of dance to choreograph and to tell stories through.

Her experience with choreographing began her sophomore year, when other officers of Ayo encouraged her to try it.

“It’s challenged me and pushed me because I never thought of myself as a choreographer,” Fridley said. “So it’s made me just grow and take on that different platform instead of just being a dancer and doing what other people say. To actually create and put things together for other dancers — it’s been a challenge.”

She said one special memory from her time in Ayo was the positive feedback she received after choreographing a dance about sex-trafficking and the need for public awareness.

“It just made me feel like, as a choreographer, people understood and had the connection. I’m doing this for a reason, and there are people who understand this.”

Fridley uses dance to tell stories.

“Sabrina is a huge storyteller when it comes to choreography,” said Amy Radwanski, a senior double major in journalism and broadcasting/digital media and a member of Ayo. “It’s not that everything has to have a story, but everything does have a story in the way that she thinks and in the way that she listens to music and in the way that she uses dance to tell stories.”

Radwanski said Fridley’s passion and love for storytelling influences the way she choreographs and the way she encourages others to tell stories through their dancing. While the storytelling and artistic aspects of dancing are Fridley’s aim, she also “doesn’t put anything on stage that she’s not proud of,” Radwanski said.

While Fridley said she will always keep dancing after she graduates, she said she would like to use her degree in nursing to pursue a career in pediatrics. She is currently working at Dayton Children’s Hospital, and is interested in hematology, oncology and working with cancer patients and children. She also had the opportunity to do an internship with the hospital last summer, and she said that she loved it.

“I really like how you get to build a relationship with the patients, and you get to know them and take care of them,” she said.

Although her opportunities to dance may be less consistent after she graduates, Fridley has every intention of continuing to dance as a way to have fun, to express herself, and above all, to worship God.

Kellyn Post is a sophomore English major and an Arts and Entertainment writer for Cedars. She is happiest when drinking tea, listening to music and reading old books.

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