Madelyne Clark Dances Her Way to New York City


It takes a combination of passion, talent and excellence to take a leap out of one’s hometown.

Monroe native Madelyne Clark, who always wanted to take her dance career to the next level, took the leap and got accepted into Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York City.

Clark, a kinesiology graduate from ULM, always had a knack for dancing.

“I always thought dancing was beautiful, ever since I saw ‘Barbie in the Nutcracker,” Clark said.

She began her dancing career at the young age of six and started dancing competitively at age eight.

Clark spent most of her life dancing at Linda Lavender School of Dance, a local dance studio.

She then went on to become a feature performer for the Twin City Ballet Company.

Her dance career truly began only after joining ULM for kinesiology.

Throughout college life, Clark struggled with her decision to either pursue a career in kinesiology or give it up completely and take up dance.

However, when she came across kinesiology professor Dr. Tommie Church, she was motivated, more than ever, to pursue a dance career.

Church, a dancer herself, was one of the main supporters for Clark’s dance career.

The duo would discuss the pros and cons of professional dancing while waiting to apply to physical therapy school at the same time.

Not only did the professor-student duo share the same dance fever, they also happened to dance at the same dance school.

Church was a former member of the Twin City Ballet Company.

She saw Clark perform at the company’s annual dance show and invited Clark to choreograph at her dance studio.

“Madelyne demonstrates in her teaching, choreography and performance of dance, her true passion and love of dance,” Church said.

Church describes Clark as a whole package when it comes to dancing.

Although kinesiology was an alternative plan, the young dancer never treated her major as any less important.

“I knew she was something special when I first met her my freshman year,” said Maiah Hardin, Clark’s best friend.

According to Hardin, Clark had a God-given talent.

“I remember seeing her attend 8 a.m. practices in the morning, hear her obsess over every arabesque and pirouette and then turn right back around to bust an A on a practical,” Hardin said.

Not only was Clark an accomplished dancer, she also maintained a 4.0 GPA and graduated a year early.

Clark did not go through the dance program at ULM or participate in any dance-related organizations.

However, she did compete in the Miss Black and Gold Pageant, a scholarship pageant sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Clark danced for the talent round and eventually won the pageant.

“Working with Madelyne was very rewarding, and her talent amazed everyone,” said Issac Hardman, member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

According to Hardman, “Her competitiveness, work ethic and overall personality will take her far in life.”

Clark spent an entire year practicing for Alvin Ailey’s audition at Dallas, Texas. Her ultimate goal is to graduate from Alvin Ailey School of Dance and become a feature performer for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre.

Clark starts her new dance adventure in NYC in the fall of 2018.