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Since the moment she could walk, Taylor Post ’22 has been dancing.

Her grandmother, who has owned and operated a dance studio in their hometown of Hopewell, N.Y., for nearly 60 years, planted the seed for her lifelong passion for dance.

“I remember starting to learn basic movements outside on my grandmother’s patio during the summer months. She started off small, doing dance lessons in garages and eventually, she expanded. My grandmother is an amazing person. Her nurturing teaching style and passion has influenced me to follow in her footsteps and begin my own teaching adventure,” Post said.

From ballet to tap, Post learned a variety of dance styles and techniques in her youth. In high school she took on a larger role, and started working as dance assistant at the studio. During her senior year, Post heard about SUNY Potsdam from a friend who had just completed her first semester here. “She said they have this great dance program, so I visited, and Potsdam was the only school I applied to. The second I got to campus, I felt a sense of community right away. I thought, ‘This is it. This is home for the next four years,Post recalled.

“The dance program helped me grow so much as a person and as a dancer. The support you get from the faculty is something I’ve never experienced before.”

-Taylor Post '22

The peaceful environment and natural beauty surrounding Potsdam resonated with Post immediately. She had always felt a strong connection to nature—something she attributes to dancing outside with her grandmother as a child—and Potsdam offered a respite from the hectic pace of life in her hometown near New York City. “Potsdam was the perfect place for me to enjoy everything, enjoy the views, and go hiking, like Lampson Falls, I went there all the time,” she said.

For the past four years, Post has been mastering dance techniques within the Department of Theatre & Dance, and taking on leadership roles as the president of the dance ensemble, and as a choreographer for several dance performances. For one piece, she returned to Lampson Falls, where she used nature as the stage for her piece. “I had a waterfall piece dedicated to my grandfather who passed away in 2020. We had a dancer in the water, and we were recording on the beach. That was my first choreographic work at SUNY Potsdam,” she said.

Encouraging faculty guided her along the way. Professor Emeritus Donald Borsh was influential in refining her dance techniques, and husband and wife team Todd and Kerri Canedy were extremely supportive. “Todd and Kerri were the reason I stayed all four years. There were a couple moments during COVID where I thought, ‘Should I go to a school closer to home, and make it easier for myself?’ But they supported me like parents would. You email them, or text them, and they were there in a heartbeat,” she said.

Taylor Post '22 hugs a friend during SUNY Potsdam Commencement ceremony on May 21.

Now, after graduating with a degree in dance with minors in fitness and arts management, Post has returned home to teach dance alongside her grandmother. This fall she will be teaching a new modern dance class at the studio, based on the techniques she learned at SUNY Potsdam. “The dance program helped me grow so much as a person and as a dancer,” Post said. “The support you get from the faculty is something I’ve never experienced before.”

In the future, Post plans on getting a master’s degree, to pursue a career as a physical education teacher—allowing her to teach during the day, and lead dance classes at night in her grandmother’s studio.

Article and photos by Jason Hunter