North Central College - Naperville, IL

Aha Moments

English major Michelle LeDonne remembers well her “aha” moment, which inspired her to choreograph an original dance performance—and resulted in her plans to pursue graduate school.

“We were reading Oscar Wilde poems out loud and I started thinking about how they could be performed to dance and music,” says LeDonne, a ballet dancer since age 3. She applied for an independent study to pursue her inspiration and then toured the new performance venues on campus, deciding that the intimate theatre in Meiley-Swallow Hall would be perfect. She then spent a full term choreographing, recruiting other dancers and using her own ballet training to create the original performance of Think in Bronze, which combined dance, music and the narration of Oscar Wilde’s poetry.

“It was the best day of my life,” says LeDonne about the production that was performed in November 2008. “This exemplified all the work I’ve done and cared about.”

LeDonne has decided to pursue performance studies as a career field and was accepted to study at McGill University’s program with a faculty member who specializes in text interpretation through movement.
Thanks to her wide-ranging interests and research in opera, dance, literature and French, LeDonne was named North Central College’s 2009 Outstanding Student in the Arts and Letters Division.

“People like [professor of English] Sara Eaton helped me figure out that I wanted to go into higher education,” she says. “And the decision to come to North Central—I wouldn’t change a thing.”