Student of the Month

Student of the Month – Peri Pelletier


Center Stage: So, we’re here with one of our graduating seniors, Peri.  So… Peri how long have you been dancing?

Peri Pelletier: Since I was three.  I started with another school and moved over to Center Stage 5 years ago.

CS:  What brought you to Center Stage?

PP:  I heard a lot of good stuff about this place, so I decided to try it out and I liked it a lot, so I decided to join company the following year.

CS:  And you are in Jazz CATS?

PP:  Yes.

CS:  What other disciplines other than Jazz?

PP:  Yeah, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Tap, Lyrical all that good stuff.

CS:  Any other dance company, or just Jazz?

PP:  No, just Jazz.

CS:  What was your Favorite dance that you’ve done with Center Stage?

PP:  Kit Kat Club from a few years ago (with Jason).

CS:  What made you think of that dance?

PP:  I think it was my first year with the company and it was a lot more fun than I expected it to be…

CS:  You’ve been through the school and have had a few teachers, who was the most influential?

PP:  I’d say Jason actually… not to be corny or anything, cause at my old studio it was like “Oh you’re doing this wrong, do it again.”    That’s what I never liked about them and then here, Jason would tell you what to fix and give you constructive criticism and give me the positive feedback or negative feedback when I needed it.   

CS:  How does dance fit into your life? How many hours do you dance a week?

PP:  A lot!  Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays (about 13 hours total).

CS:  How does that fit into your schedule?  Do you have a busy schedule?

PP:  Not really.  I fit things around dance.

CS:  Do you work?

PP:  I used to work with Solomon Schechter, the aftercare program.  I would do it on Wednesdays because I didn’t have dance, but they closed so I don’t have a job anymore!

CS:  How do you juggle your friends from Center Stage and School?

PP:  It’s kind of mixed.  Brooke, Allison, and Sydney (other Jazz CATS) are my school/dance friends.  And I also have my USY friends.  It all kind of mixes together.  When I started USY my school friends were my USY friends because I went to Solomon Schechter.  Then I went to Public School and then I had all of these Public School friends… it all mixes together.

CS:  Oh, so you were in private school – Solomon Schechter, then you started Public School… What made you switch?

PP:  I was in Solomon Schechter until 5th grade then it got expensive and a lot of people were leaving so I left. 

CS:  Oh, was that a difficult transition to go from private to public school? 

PP:  A little bit but not really because the way that the school system works in East Brunswick  it’s whatever elementary school you are in – I think there are 5 or 6 – you all go to the middle school.  So a lot of people didn’t know each other.

CS:  How well do you do in school?

PP:  I think pretty good.

CS:  Average, A’s, B’s??

PP:  Mostly B’s and A’s.

CS:  Do you think dance impacts your grades?

PP:  I don’t know, I like to procrastinate so dance is an excuse sometimes.  But not to the point that I don’t do things!  I get it done, I do it later.  I’m more of a night owl.  I’m A OK doing things after dance.

CS:  How do you feel Center Stage has impacted your life?

PP:  Dancing wise, I’m a better dancer because I’m more sure of myself.  Being a dancer at my old studio I didn’t get the critiques that I needed, so I wasn’t a very sure dancer, not knowing if I was doing it right or wrong or when.  Now I’m more sure of myself dancing, I feel a lot better now.  And it helps in the regular world to be more prepared.

CS:  Performing on stage has helped you in life?

PP:  Yeah! Because I feel more sure of myself.

CS:  Any hobbies other than dance?

PP:  I used to play guitar, but I stopped.  I started in freshman year because I was like oh I like to sing so I did it.  I got a guitar for my birthday and a family friend would teach me the basic stuff and I figured out how to strum and then I taught myself some simple songs online.   I never really kept up with it.

CS:  Do you think you will go back to it?

PP:  Yeah, I mean I always do, so it’s a matter of when I want to.

CS:  What’s next?  You going to college?

PP:  Yes, University of Hartford (Connecticut – West Hartford)

CS:  And, what do you want to major in?

PP:  I don’t know!

CS:  Well, why did you pick that school?

PP:  Well, I did a bunch of campus tours this past summer and I actually thought Westfield State University was my top, I like it.  But then I saw Hartford and I was like this is it! So I’ve known since last July.  I like it because I don’t know what I want to do it has a bunch of programs and help you figure out what you want to do, it’s a very simple process to switch into another program.  And I don’t like when schools have graduate students teach, it’s a thing…  But all the professors are professors.  And if you need help they have a program to get extra help.

CS:  Is it a smaller college?

PP:  It’s a medium small college.  It has about 5000 students. 

CS:  Anything you kind of want to do?

PP:  I mean, I was looking into maybe teaching, working with special education program in elementary.  It’s not a definite thing, but it’s something.  I’m also into law stuff.  It’s a totally different thing….

CS:  Do you think you will dance in college?

PP:  Yeah, their main team is for basketball but I don’t like that.  But they may have an intramural team (I haven’t had a chance to check that out), but if they don’t I will take a bunch of classes.  They do have a huge dance program there, so I’m sure they will have classes and stuff.

CS:  What’s going on for the summer?  Any big summer plans? 

PP:   YES, I’m going to Disney!  For the first time ever!  (Laughs) I was deprived as a child!

CS:  Are you going with your family?

PP:  Yes.  My sister plays softball, like intensely, so she has nationals the week after that, so we’re like OH Disney, let’s do that.

CS:  Are you excited?

PP:  OMG, yes!  We’re eating dinner with all the princesses, Cinderella and Winnie the Pooh…

CS:  You’re a kid at heart?

PP:  Oh yeah!

CS:  Any favorite movies you watch over and over?

PP:  Breaking Dawn and Hunger Games! And I just got a kindle so I’ve been reading the Divergent Series non-stop!

CS:  Favorite Band?

PP:  One Direction!

CS:  Who’s your role model?

PP:  I’d say my Mommy!  You can write that… that I call her my mommy!

CS:  There’s nothing wrong with that!  Ok, so I have a new question that I want to ask you…. What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

PP:  Literally nothing, I’m an open book!

CS:   Nothing?  Well do people know that you play guitar?

PP:  Well not really, but it’s not a huge thing.  It’s not like I’m a secret rock star-  Hannah Montana! 

CS:  Oh, well the secret is out… you’ve been living a double life!!  We’re going to write that.  You are Hannah Montana, we never see them in the same room together!

PP:  (Laughing)  Yeah, put a disclaimer that you read this and you’ll find out, her coming out as Hannah Montana. 

CS: Any one last thing you want to say?  Anything you are going to miss?

PP:  I’m going to miss Allison Ziets!  I’ve really enjoyed my experience here.  Looking back I think I regret not coming a little bit earlier, but I don’t regret it too much because I am really having a good time with the girls I’m with.  Everything happens for a reason!  Thanks for the opportunity!

CS:  We’re going to miss you!

PP:  I will come visit!