Emma Sucato follows passion for musical theater and dance, despite rigorous schedule
3:45 p.m: Go home. 4:30 p.m: leave for dance. 5:15 p.m: begin dance classes. 9:30 p.m: leave dance. 10:00 p.m: get home, eat dinner and start homework. This is a typical evening for senior Emma Sucato.
Sucato has been dancing for 15 years and singing for 10 years. As a dedicated student, she has had to learn how to balance her commitment to the performing arts with her commitment to school.
“There are times when it’s very difficult,” Sucato said. “…There are definitely nights where [I’m] staying up till very late hours, but I think it’s just a balance of really timing out when [I’m] going to do everything. Sometimes, that doesn’t always work out and sometimes it does. I’ve had to do it for so long that it’s just something that [is] normal.”
Not only does Sucato dance four to five days a week; she also is taking four Advanced Placement classes this year.
“I think that I’ve always been a pretty academic student,” Sucato said. “I don’t consider myself a perfectionist at all, but I like to work. I like working hard and the idea of staying complacent in anything I’m doing isn’t something that I want to do.”
Though it’s challenging, Sucato finds this demanding schedule to be worth it.
“Getting home, the rush of adrenaline I have, I can barely start my homework because I just love [dance] so much,” Sucato said. “…[From dance] I’ve learned accountability—like when a teacher will text us, even if we’re like five minutes late, [asking] ‘where are you?’ and I’m stuck in traffic…Also, my teammates. I love being around them and we’ve gone through a lot together. We’re with each other pretty much the entire year and as cheesy as it is, we do see each other through the ups and downs, and I consider them family in a sense. I know that’s super cliche, but it’s kind of true because I’ve grown up with them like all my life.”
On top of dance, Sucato also takes voice lessons and performs in musicals. Last year, she was in the ensemble of “Beauty and the Beast” at Dallas Children’s Theater. Because performances were during the day, she had to miss multiple classes each week. With the help of her teachers and her own organizational skills, she managed.
“[That show] was definitely difficult, but I have to give it to my teachers because they were very understanding,” Sucato said. “…Not only did I sacrifice school during that but also dance…It was a busy time in general, but honestly, I work better when I’m busy. When I’m not busy, I procrastinate a lot. I love the idea of going from one place to another.”
Sucato hopes to pursue performing arts—specifically musical theater—in college and beyond.
“I really love [dance and musical theater] because, for me, it’s all about performing, and I love the energy you get from performing in front of an audience and telling a story,” Sucato said. “It’s something that I think lots of people need and want, and I like being part of that for them. I want to continue it because there’s so many things I have yet to learn, I really want to increase my training and, also, meet people. I think it’s really cool that in school you’re training with people who love the same thing as you and they’re all passionate about the same thing as you. I feel like that training would be incredible.”
Sucato believes her experiences in dance and musical theater have set her up for the future—whether she is pursuing a career in performing arts or a completely different field.
“Working hard in school, working hard in dance, and working hard in musical theater [have] taught me so many different things,” Sucato said. “…I’ve always heard from people that they want to hire, and this is both in arts and in academics, a good person and also someone who’s smart. I think that being involved in all [of] this makes me a trainable human being and someone who’s willing to work and willing to put in the time because I’ve had to make sacrifices and really figure out how I’m going to get everything done with the time that I have. I think that’s also a really good skill to have in life—working hard in everything [and] not staying complacent in anything, but also balancing everything well.”
Addie Mendolia has been dancing with Sucato for five years.
“[Sucato] has the best energy in the room because she’s always positive,” Mendolia said. “You can tell that she really loves to dance…She has a really good work ethic, so she’s super easy to work with. She’s always working hard, she never slacks [and] she always comes knowing the material ready to work.”
Sucato finds a connection between dance and musical theater.
“I feel like dance is an integral part of [musical theater],” Sucato said. “Even if you’re watching a musical that you love, for example, everybody loves ‘Hamilton,’ the dancers in that show, it’s incredible what they’re doing. So, I think it connects in a way that if I want to be in ensemble, I have to be a dancer…Performing is performing and so whether it’s in dance or in musicals, you’re still performing…You still have to act; you still have to tell a story.”