Husman splits time between dance and advertising

Husman splits time between dance and advertising

calendar icon02 Apr 2013    

Hannah Husman rehearses in the Mable Lee Hall dance classroom.
Hannah Husman rehearses in the Mable Lee Hall dance classroom.

Hannah Husman, a senior from Omaha, decided she wanted to be a dance major while watching the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in the Spring of 2011.

Husman began her time at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as a print journalism major. This May she will be graduating with double majors in dance and advertising.

“I just couldn’t ever choose one over the other,” Husman said. “I figured I’m pretty used to having a busy schedule.”

Husman said she’s been dancing for as long as she can remember. She said she bounced back and forth between different sports and activities, but always made her way back to taking dance classes.

“I just remember how passionate I am about dance and how good it makes me feel,” Husman said. “Then I don’t see how I could go without feeling that.”

She originally started out as a dance minor. Soon she and Associate Professor of Dance Susan Levine realized she needed to make dance her major.

“She’s like a secret gorgeous dancer,” Levine said. “When you meet her she’s not very flamboyant or anything like that and then all of a sudden you just see her mind . . . starts working and then the body connection just happens instantly. It becomes to luscious and deep for such a young person.”

Scheduling two majors

Since then, Husman’s schedule has been full while balancing advertising and dance.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a week that was the same as the week before,” Husman said. “My schedule changes all the time.”

Levine said she was impressed by how Husman was able to always be 100 percent present at dance, and assumes she is that way in journalism as well. She loves watching Husman manage both worlds.

“I feel like the way I get to see (Husman balance between her majors) is that I don’t get to see it,” Levine said. “She just does what needs to be done and if I was going to think of anyone who was going to be able to do it, it would be her.”

Photo of Hannah Husman

Some dance programs offer different emphasis for the various styles of dance. Though UNL’s dance program has ballet classes, it is primarily focused on modern dance.

“At first I hated modern dance, and I didn’t understand it because I felt like the technique I was used to with ballet was gone and I didn’t understand how that could be pretty,” Husman said. “But then the more I tried it and found out about professional companies that do modern dance, the more I thought it was interesting.”

Husman said she wouldn’t have become a dance major at any other school because of how flexible the professors are with students’ schedules.

“It’s a really welcoming community, and it’s small and everyone takes care of each other and looks out for each other,” Husman said. “I wouldn’t have been able to flip flop back and forth and kind of make my own way into the dance program anywhere else.”

Husman has often been reminded of her passion for dance when a guest artist comes to visit or while watching a performance of a dance company. Other times, it’s simply spending time with her fellow classmates in the dance studio working on choreography or trying new things.

“It seems like we’re messing around but then I think ‘this could be my job,’” Husman said. “Why wouldn’t you want to do that?”

Incorporating advertising and dance

Currently, Husman is helping the dance program with its social media as an independent study course. Using her knowledge through her advertising major, she has helped with the Dance Division’s website, Twitter and Facebook.

“It was clear that this would be a genius way to use her talent and giver her a real experience,” Levine said.

Through Husman’s work, the dance program’s Twitter, @danceUNL, and Facebook have gotten more likes and followers.

“Nothing is more gratifying when we see that the University retweets us; it’s cool,” Levine said. “We’re such a small entity, and we’re noticing that the large entities are starting to follow us and favorite us.”

Husman said it was eye opening to be able to incorporate both of her majors into one project.

“Now I’m really interested in arts communication type stuff and maybe working for a non-profit that helps support the arts,” Husman said.

Future plans

Even though she said her mind often flips back and forth, Husman’s current plans are to pursue her dance career and have advertising as a back up.

“I’ve definitely questioned them all the way through, but since I’ve already done the work I don’t want to quit,” Husman said. “There is a point to having either of them. There is a chance I might go to New York, and then I might end up doing advertising. It’s good to have a back up for both.”

After graduating, she hopes to start out by taking workshops and classes from companies in New York and move from there.

“That’s really how you get your foot in the door in the dance world,” Husman said.

Levine believes Husman will be successful whether she pursues dance or advertising.

“She just has a can-do attitude,” Levine said. “She’s very industrious and positive, and she is very responsible. I think those qualities . . . are what determine a lot of your future success. She is one of those people where I can’t imagine having a new year without.”

-Ally Phillips, College of Journalism and Mass Communications