Article by Jason Hunter
Dangling upside down while kissing the Blarney stone had always been a lifelong dream for Morgan Ose ’19, and last semester she was able to check that off her bucket list during a transformative semester-long internship in Dublin, Ireland.
“I have Irish ancestry, and so I’ve always been very curious about those roots. Ireland has always been one of my favorite parts of my heritage. I’m a dancer and I grew up watching Irish step dance, that always appealed to me. I’ve just loved the culture so much,” she said.
Ose, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dance with a minor in pre-creative arts therapy at SUNY Potsdam, landed a unique Global Experiences internship last semester at the CoisCéim Dance Theatre—one of the top modern dance companies in Ireland. She became an integral part of the dance company’s day-to-day operations, spending close to three months immersed in the Irish culture. For her internship, she was not only responsible for taking publicity photos and updating the website, but she was also the production intern for “Body Language,” a dance concert presented at a local art gallery in Dublin last fall.
While there, Ose kept track of audience attendance, recorded the performance for the archival purposes and she was responsible for transporting costumes back and forth from the dance theatre to the art gallery. At the end of the show each evening, and much as in a scene from “The Devil Wears Prada,” Ose would scoop up large bags full of costumes and haul them back to the dance theatre, a 20-minute walk through the streets of Dublin, for the costumer to wash upon her arrival. “It was the perfect setup for me to really learn how a dance company works. I got to learn not just the artistic side, but the business side of it as well,” Ose said.
When she wasn’t working at CoisCéim, she was busy taking ballet, contemporary and street dance classes. She also took an Irish group dance class and even attended a salsa class downtown. After long days in the city, Ose made connections with new friends from all over the world. Her group of friends organized their own culturally themed dining events where they took turns making meals from their respective countries. One night, her friend from India made a traditional curry dish, on another occasion her friend from France made crêpes. When it was Ose’s turn, she prepared barbecue chicken. “I learned a lot from them about their cultures,” she said.
Ose also found time to travel around Ireland, journeying out to the countryside to explore the Giants Causeway. “It’s incredible! It has these perfectly smooth circular rocks placed on each other, completely formed by nature,” she said. “I love nature. I sometimes create choreography based on nature, and Ireland is so gorgeous.”
On another occasion, Ose ventured out to Liverpool, England where she also met up with John Bennett, a visiting theatre professor who directed “Forbidden Planet” at SUNY Potsdam back in 2016 during Ose’s freshman year, one of the first productions she was involved with on campus.
Now back on American soil, Ose feels like she has a better understanding of how to reach her career goals. She’s pursuing dance therapy, which focuses on helping people with mental and physical disability through dance. She also wants to run her own non-profit dance studio/company someday that offers dance therapy classes. “I just think I have a greater understanding of the artistry of dance. Specifically, from talking with David Bolger who runs the company and some of the dancers,” she said.
Toby White, the director for experiential education at SUNY Potsdam’s Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, helped to guide Ose as she was selecting her overseas internship experience. Before the trip, she met with White to discuss her options before settling on Ireland.
“You can study abroad and I’m sure that’s great, but I feel like you’re learning so much more with an internship. I told Toby White that I knew what I wanted to do with my career, but I didn’t quite know how to get there. And now I feel like I absolutely know how to get there. I know exactly what I need to do,” Ose said.