Document Type

Honors Thesis


Mechanical Engineering


Samantha C. Jones

Committee Members

Sonja K. Birthisel, Kathleen Ellis, Ann Ross, Jennie Woodard

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


This project resulted in a book of poetry divided into three sections. Each section is accompanied by a video of original choreographic work; each choreographic work is set to one of the original poems from each section. The question proposed for this project is, how can I act on my insights, reflections, and thoughts as I move through life, in order to engage more fully with my own mental/conscious experience?

Therefore, the purpose of this project is to explore how utilizing poetry and dance to engage with my mental landscape might be a means to catharsis, for full self- expression and acceptance, and self-discovery. One of the art forms utilized, which I have significant experience in, is dance, and the other one which I am a novice at is creative writing. Writing makes the thoughts and internal experiences concrete by externalizing them. Dance brings these reflections back into myself through embodiment. The creative and choreographic process involves returning to the words and the movement again and again. This constant creative and physical engagement with the written insights, reflections, and thoughts that I have as I go through life helps me to integrate them into my being so that they are an active part of me, both consciously and subconsciously, influencing how I move about the world.

The integration of all three written sections progresses from a sense of brokenness, grief and loss to one of hope, self-love, and being grounded in oneself. This reflects the pattern of the Jewish calendar. During the Jewish spiritual new year, Rosh Hashanah, Jews practice teshuvah, or repentance. However, teshuvah can also be translated to “turning towards oneself.” Each section of this project turns towards myself, from beginning to end, and the three parts of the project as a whole do the same.