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?
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!