Featured Artist: Amber Brownlee

Senior Amber Brownlee shares her interest in many art forms, including dance, painting and drawing.

by Zoe Butler and Maddy Medina

story by Zoe Butler

Amber Brownlee’s arms were outstretched, grasping the waist of the person in front of her, someone else grasping her own. Eyes closed, all 13 dancers took their first breath together, somehow becoming one body, feeling like the same person.

Senior Amber Brownlee’s interest first sparked for dance at age three, when she started taking her first dance classes. She also began drawing and painting before she could write. Currently, she takes classes at City in Motion three days a week and doodles everyday.

“[Art has] given me a way to express myself,” Brownlee said. “It’s freed me in a lot of senses. It’s allowed me another way to connect with people.”

With her parents and two sisters being dancers and choreographer/dancer Martha Graham as her inspiration, Brownlee has found a way to funnel her creative energy into three different art forms: painting, drawing and dancing.

photos by Maddy Medina

[nggallery id = 1095]

“I think [drawing] is where I get out my angsty feelings, and painting too,” Brownlee said. “I don’t have to be happy when I’m drawing. I’m quite often not, because that’s when I make the good stuff. I think dance is the opposite. I dance the best when I’m happy, so that’s where I put all of my positive energy.”

Brownlee has grown up with art, but it is evident that it is so much more than just an after-school activity. For her, it is so singular, a way to tune everything else out and focus on just that for up to hours at a time.

“Dancing gives you that connection that allows you to move past yourself and into someone else,” Brownlee said.

This spring, Brownlee will be graduating from STA; in the fall, she will be beginning college. Brownlee will be picking her college based off each school’s dance program. The schools she is considering each require an audition, some an audition solo. Brownlee has been working to re-piece her father’s dance solo from 1992 as an audition solo for her three college choices: University of Iowa, University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of Texas.

“I want to be a professional dancer, and I’m considering sculpting, too, and combining the two,” Brownlee said.

Her dreams stretch even farther after becoming a professional dancer, she “[hopes] to keep with up with arts” throughout her whole life.