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To Whom lt tt/ay Concern,

I have had the privilege of serving as Samantha Desantis's mentor for her senior project.
It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of. I truly enjoyed being there to guide her
through her choreographic process and see her growth as an artist. She was faced with several
different challenges along the way, but handled them with grace and integrity. I was very
impressed by her work ethic and leadership skills. I really feel like this project helped to
strengthen Samantha's confidence and encourage her to continue to explore and develop her
voice as a choreographer.
I enjoyed walking Samantha through the initial decisions that needed to be made in her
creative process. She had a lot of really great questions to help her understand where she
should draw inspiration from and how to develop it. We discussed the importance of choosing
music that is dynamic and inspires movement. We also discussed different concept ideas, such
as a narrative storyline versus a more abstract concept, like a feeling or motif. She was great at
really digesting everything we discussed and making wellthought out and intentional, creative
I was most impressed by Samantha's great demonstration of leadership skills. She
chose to work with four of her peers, which can be very challenging. She was faced with
complicated scheduling for rehearsals, as well as handling different personalities. She was great
at being respectful, yet assertive. Directing your friends can be very intimidating, but Samantha
did it with great ease. She was good at speaking with both confidence and clarity. This was a
great opportunity for her to exercise her voice as a teacher and choreographer. I know it really
gave her a whole new perspective about what its like to be a choreographer working with
As Samantha's dance instructor, I have been well aware of her tremendous talents in her
dance ability. However, this experience has shown me her amazing ability as a choreographer.
She has such a unique voice as an artist, and always demonstrates such maturity in everything
she does. Samantha has worked very hard to create a beautiful piece and I am looking forward
to seeing it performed on stage. I know it will be such a proud moment for her as a
choreographer, and a very proud moment for me as her teacher and mentor.

Thank you,

Crystal Zibalese
(805) 208-4687