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Columbus Makes Art Presents CoMo Dancer Jessica Wheeler and Revolve

Laura Comana Puscas Laura Comana Puscas Columbus Makes Art Presents CoMo Dancer Jessica Wheeler and RevolveModern dancing. Photo by Kelly Koolhoven.
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Jessica Wheeler is a company dancer for the Columbus Modern Dance Company and is currently Assistant Artistic Director for CoMo’s fall performance, Revolve, Nov. 1-2 at Dance Edge. Jessica joins director Laura Puscas to answer some questions about life as a part-time professional modern dancer.

Jessica Wheeler. Photo by Angela Fortin.

Laura: When did you start dancing in life, and how did you find the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company?
Jessica: I took jazz class when I was a kid and then started back up more seriously when I joined a dance team in middle and high school. I continued on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in dance from Radford University (along with a math degree) and wanted to continue dancing after I moved to Columbus. I found CoMo after taking one of their adult modern classes!

Laura: What types of performances have you been a part of with the Columbus Modern Dance Company?
Dancing with CoMo has given me the opportunity to perform in such a variety of performances! I’ve danced in our annual gala concert, dusted off heels for a Rockette-style Christmas kick line, and discovered what a gem the Topiary Park is during our Mother’s Day Tea performance. I’ve been grateful to learn from guest artists and for opportunities to choreograph myself.

Photo by Kelly Koolhoven.

Laura: As a part-time professional dance artist, how do you balance rehearsal and everyday life?
Jessica: I’m a math teacher at OSU by day, but I’m always trying to squeeze in as much dance in my evenings as possible. Being surrounded by other dancers in CoMo that are also dedicating their evenings to create art is so inspiring, and having an outlet to do something very different than my day job helps to keep my life balanced.

Laura: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Jessica: I’m excited by the growth of the Columbus arts scene and the collaborations happening. I hope that the availability of a diverse arts scene encourages the community to come out and experience something new.

Laura: What upcoming productions are you looking forward to with CoMo?
Jessica: Our next production is called Revolve and is a show inspired by the elements. I’m excited for CoMo to present a full-length concept show, and I think the audience will enjoy seeing the elements come alive through movement, costumes and lighting!

Dancer Jessica Wheeler Photo by Kelly Koolhoven.

Jessica will be dancing in Revolve on Friday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. at Dance Edge in Grandview. Tickets are available here. You can also catch Jessica at CoMo’s Season Finale on Leap Day 2020 at Abbey Theater of Dublin and at CoMo’s annual Mother’s Day Tea in the Topiary Garden.

Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.

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