100 Creatives: Dionne Sparkman Noble, Choreographer and Professor
Courtesy of Dionne Sparkman Noble
What She Does: Ask Dionne Sparkman Noble what she does for a living and you might notice she takes a short pause before answering you. The pause, she explains, gives her time to decide which of her many job titles to use, because each title usually prompts more questions.
"If I say dancer, [some] people think I mean pole dancer ... which is a profession, I know," she laughs. "Sometimes people ask me if I'm a So You Think You Can Dance-type dancer. No, I'm not. Then they ask if I'm a ballet dancer. No, I'm not. If I say I'm a modern dancer, that still doesn't answer their question and most of the time so I have to explain, 'Modern dance is a lot like ballet but we dance barefoot.' People usually stop asking questions after I say that."
Sometimes Noble tells people she's a professor. "Then they ask, 'Of what?' So I say, 'Dance.' Then they usually say, 'Oh, you can major in dance at college?' Y-e-s." An assistant professor of dance at Sam Houston State University where she's adviser for the graduate program (yes, you can get a master's degree in dance). Noble is also co-artistic director of NobleMotion Dance, a non-profit performing arts company. She shares that job with her husband Andy Noble.
"I'm also a mom. I definitely consider that a third job." She and her husband have an eight-year-old son and two-year-old daughter.
"I feel like I wear many hats. I feel that I sometimes have a bit of an identity complex because I'm also the PR person here at [SHSU]. I never know when I open an e-mail what it's going to be about. There are so many different subjects I field on any particular day."
Courtesy of Dionne Sparkman Noble
Why She Likes It: "I'm a multi-tasker. All of the different things that I do require me to think on my feet, require me to trust myself and challenges me every day. I think if I wasn't doing dance, I might be a little lost. I did a stay-at-home-mom thing for a while, and I loved being with my son but at the same time I desperately missed part of something.
"I like to work towards goals and I feel this profession allows [me] to continuously create new goals for [myself]. It allows me to continuously challenge myself and I think that's what I like the most. Every day is not the same. And it's the same for teaching, for running a company.
What Inspires Her: "I think another thing that inspires me is seeing other art work. And not just dance, I get inspired by reading a book or going to an opera or an art museum. I usually leave those [types of] events feeling like I want to create something new. That art may not directly influence what I end up doing, but even just being in the audience and watching something it feeds me as a artist."
If Not This, Then What: "I very much, believe it or not, like PR work. I actually enjoy a way of publicize something, from the imagery that you create for [a poster or publicity] to writing stories. I very much enjoy being able to tell others about what we do."
If Not Here, Then Where: "We lived in the Seattle area for a while and there was something lovely there, the way of life. I even got used to the rain, a little. But I really have to say, I am very happy living in Houston. I feel Houston has a lot to offer."
What's Next: Our next show for NobleMotion is in March, it's called Unplugged. We do a lot of dance and technology and big collaborative work. For Unplugged, we're going to go much smaller, without all of the technology. We're collaborating with Musica, they're going to come and perform with us.
"I'm writing a faculty research grant to fund a new dance for camera. That's what I'll be working on in the summer.
"On the family front, my son does karate and he is actually going up for his yellow belt soon. We're all really, really excited for him. He's a beautiful mover. He has beautiful legs and feet. He's not interested in dance at all, but he is really good at learning movement. And my daughter is going to start potty training. That's going to be a big thing in our household for the next few months," she says.
"Another hat. Another challenge."
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Lee Wright, artist Vic Shuttee, comedy writer and performer Robin Davidson, poet and translator Jessica Wilbanks, essayist and Pushcart Prize winner David DeHoyos, astronaut photographer Sophie Jordan, bestselling book author Jessi Jordan, comic artist, beekeeper and yeti enthusiast Patrick Peters, architect and professor Jamie Kinosian, visual artist Paris F. Jomadiao, mixed-media artist and stop motion animator Shanon Adams, dancer James Glassman, Houstorian historian and artist Lou Vest, photographer Sara Gaston, stage and screen star Rachael Pavlik, a writer mom Ana Villaronga-Roman, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum director Erin Wasmund, actor, singer and dancer Karim Al-Zand, composer Jan Burandt, paper conservator for The Menil Collection Deke Anderson, actor Craig Cohen, hockey fan and host of Houston Matters Mauro Luna, Poe-Inspired photographer Trond Saeverud, Galveston Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Khrystyna Balushka, paper flower child Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana MarÃa Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
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