Tap dancer discusses rhythm & more

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 

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Reagan Doucette, of Reidsville, has training in all styles of dance, but favors tap dancing. [Photo submitted

   Editor’s note: This is the second installment of Meet the Artist, a     monthly series by Teens & 20s writer Logan A. White featuring young   area performers.

Reagan Doucette, a 17-year-old high school senior from Reidsville, is   October’s featured artist.
She has dedicated the past 13 years to training in all styles of dance, but   favors tap dancing. Reagan has been a member of companies such as   Gene Medler’s “North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble” and Nancy   Chippendale’s “American Tap Company.” She has been able to train with Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant, Sarah Reich and many more. Doucette aspires to one day run her own company.
Teens & 20s: What inspires you most as an artist?
Reagan Doucette: Younger dancers and the twinkle in their eyes. When I was young, I always looked up to the “big kids.” Now, I feel they are looking up to me. Knowing that I could be inspiring a younger generation of dancers motivates me to work hard for what I want.
Teens & 20s: What do you feel made the transition from hobby to passion?
Doucette: I really don’t remember having one specific moment that it was a clear switch. Dance has always been my No. 1; it has never been just a hobby for me. The most pivotal moment for me was my first self-choreographed solo. It was for sure a moment that made me realize that I wanted to create, not just perform.
Teens & 20s: What other form of art have you always wanted to try?
Doucette: Definitely fashion designing. I have designed several solo costumes for myself.
Teens & 20s: What are your favorite/most inspirational songs to dance to?
Doucette: Anything that has a rhythm I could easily add on to. Being a tap dancer, so much about what I do is like being a musician. I always want a song that I can work with — I’m not super particular about the genre and will dance to anything from rap to jazz — but if the song is too busy rhythmically, then it’s a no. Often I search the Internet for interesting covers of popular songs.
Teens & 20s: What message do you want to spread through dance?
Doucette: I want to make people aware that dance is a form of communication. Dance has always been my way of communicating feelings that I have not always been able to put to words. I want others to realize how expressive of an art form it really is.
Teens & 20s: What do you think is the most common misconception about dance?
Doucette: “Dance is not a sport.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this one. Growing up with my dad running a soccer club and coaching my brother’s teams, the players would always bring it up and argue. I would like to see them take a ballet or a tap class. It’s not easy what we do.
Teens & 20s: If you weren’t an artist, what career would you pursue?
Doucette: Probably a career in fashion. Fashion is something I’ve always loved, and something I do want to pursue in the future. Anything I do has to be very hands-on. I’m always wanting to move around and create, so a sit-down job wouldn’t suit me at all.
You can see more of Reagan on her Instagram, @reagan.doucette.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.

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