Freshman dance major Johnny Chatman, II’s dance instructor mother tells him he’s been dancing since the day he was born, and he doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.
“For me, if I wasn’t involved in the arts, I don’t know who I’d be,” Johnny said. “I’m really excited to be dancing every day.”
Johnny danced his way through childhood and high school, touring Houston with a small dance troupe, being cast in the school musical his freshman year, and becoming the first male in 76 years to make the drill team, but up until his first day at UT, he had never taken a classical ballet class.
“I was nervous about maybe not knowing what’s going on, but the professors are working with me,” Johnny said. “I think I’m the newest person to ballet.”
In addition to a degree in dance, Johnny hopes to add a degree in kinesiology in the hopes of one day, after spending some time dancing on Broadway, opening a physical therapy practice that incorporates dance into the recovery of patients. For now, aside from maintaining excellent grades and making the Dean’s List each semester, Johnny has big plans for his years at UT.
“I want to gain new experiences and new outlooks on how to learn,” he said. “Knowledge is a true gift, and I cherish learning. I’m so grateful to the Doty Society. It really means a lot that there are people willing to invest in the arts and believe that their money is going to a good cause.”