At the age of four, senior Krista Kee went to a dance class at the request of the mother of the little girl who lived next door.
After two years, the girl next door decided to quit dancing. Kee’s mother asked if she wanted to stop too. The answer was no.
“The running joke in my family is that my neighbor owes my mom like $20,000 for all of the dance training,” Kee said.
Kee said she decided to be a dancer when she was about eight years old, and she knew dance would be her major when she went to college.
TCU caught Kee’s attention one Saturday afternoon while she was watching college football. Kee found that TCU had two majors she was interested in: dance and political science.
Now Kee’s two passions are the heart of her senior choreography piece.
Through the bodies of her four female cast members, Kee is trying to communicate a political concept called brinkmanship. Kee first became interested in brinkmanship when she wrote a paper on the topic in an international politics class her sophomore year.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, brinkmanship is defined as “the practice of causing or allowing a situation to become extremely dangerous in order to get the results that you want.”
“Essentially, my piece is about conflict escalation, lack of security, rising tensions and aggression,” Kee said.
Kee said she felt she could somehow build a dance around that topic.
“I was really interested in taking that concept and kind of deconstructing it for dance,” Kee said.
Kee’s choreography is focused on the escalation of movement, in the same way that conflict escalates globally. Kee stripped away the politics to make it more about basic dance movements.
Kee said the dance is meant to make the audience feel the tension the movements create rather than to simply communicate the brinkmanship concept.
The cast has learned how Kee wants to communicate the multifaceted brinkmanship concept.
“The way she portrays it is really interesting because she wanted to show us as these powerful women and it kind of corresponds with the power struggle between different countries,” said Rebecca Carwile, a sophomore modern dance major in the cast.
Kee’s four dancers have also learned more about their choreographer.
“She literally put her whole soul into this piece,” said Karly Wilkins, a junior modern dance major in the cast. “It is a Krista piece.”
Kee is planning to continue studying dance and political science after graduating from TCU. She is applying for a Fulbright scholarship to study at the University of Roehampton in the United Kingdom.
Kee said there is a master’s program called dance politics and sociology.
“It is like someone created a master’s program for me,” Kee said.