Passion Project 2019 - Inspiring Women of Sioux Falls - Madeleine
Dec 24, 2019 | By: Maggie Sweets
This year has been an amazing year and I have been honored to meet such amazing and inspirational women while doing this Passion Project! When I started with Sanaa at the beginning of the year, I hadn't realized how much others wanted to know about these women as well. Each one of them after her have taught me so much and I have loved photographing and writing about them.
This time around, I want to introduce to you a young lady, Madeleine Scott or "Maddie" for short, that I met last year while photographing for the Sioux Falls Woman Magazine. This amazing woman was chosen to grace the cover for the magazines Fall issue. After talking with her on the phone, I knew we were going to have a blast during our shoot however Maddie had just gotten the news that she had injured her foot which I feared would limit any "ballet" poses we might do. To say the least, our shoot went extremely well and I was flabbergasted at her drive to push herself, even through such a serious inury. Although Maddie's ballet skills are unlike anything I have ever seen, I do believe the real magic happened as I learned about her while talking during our shoot. She told me about her dreams, plans for the future and all the ways she wanted to come back and help her community in Sioux Falls. I was so excited to see what she would do!
I kept in touch with Maddie after the issue came out and we collaborated together on various photography shoots together after. During our last shoot, we sat and talked and she told me all about a professional ballet company she was planning to start at the end of 2019. You guys! It had barely been a year since we last discussed her plans and she was already working on starting a professional Ballet company in the community. I then realized that I needed to write about her. She needed to be a part of my Passion Project because if that is not an embodiment of Passion, I'm not sure what is.
So I gladly introduce to you, Madeleine Scott and am so thankful to her for allowing me to share her story! Make sure to give her a comment on the bottom of this blog and check out all of her social media links! I'm telling you, this girl is unstoppable and I personally, can't wait to see all that she does after this!
Tell us about yourself? Where are you from? Describe your family?
My name is Madeleine Scott. I am 24 years old. I grew up 30 miles south of Sioux Falls in Beresford, South Dakota and also spent much of my time at my grandparent's house in Lake Andes, South Dakota. My mom lives in South Dakota & my dad lives in Philadelphia. Both of my parents are hardworking business owners and avid adventurers. If I had a dream, I would have to chase it; that my dreams would not chase me. They taught me to work harder than I thought was possible and to always be prepared so that when opportunity knocked, I could answer with confidence.
What are you jobs? How are you involved in the community
I currently wear a plethora of hats at several wonderful organizations. I am the founder, artistic director and executive director of South Dakota Ballet. I currently do everything from budgeting, ordering merchandise, planning events, to selecting potential dancers for the company. In addition to my responsibilities with South Dakota Ballet I am the director of Sales & Marketing at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers where we specialize in dance medicine, women's health, and balance disorders such as dizziness and vertigo. In my limited spare time I coach/mentor dancers privately, teach masterclasses around the midwest and choreograph professionally. I also enjoy volunteering at organizations build community such as the Levitt.
What is your biggest passion and how do you want to get that to the community?
My biggest passion is making people feel valued and empowered. By watching my mother in a clinical setting, I learned from an early age that each person is unique and each person's story matters. I love that dance encourages expression and places value in individuality. This is why I look forward to the South Dakota Ballet outreach program. In the upcoming months, we will be teaching free classes around the state to children and communities of all backgrounds; particularly those of underprivileged, underserved & underexposed demographics. I hope to share with others the excitement of learning something new as well as the encouragement to see the value in uniqueness and the opportunity to build community through differences.
Tell us about the South Dakota Ballet? What made you want to head that up and what do you hope it will bring to our community?
South Dakota Ballet is an organization that has been building in my brain since the moment I left home at the age of 13 in 2009. It started to become reality amidst my senior year of college at the University of Utah in 2017. It struck me that South Dakota was the last state in America without a professional ballet company and I felt in my heart that it was time to change this. I have been able to watch Sioux Falls grow from afar as my dance career took me across the globe. I finally became a part of the up & coming Sioux Falls community when I moved back in 2018.
In April 2018, I was dancing at Sacramento Ballet in California. I received a call that my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It was devastating and I knew I had to come home. I had professional performing opportunities lined up for the remained of the year but chose the cancel to be with my family during that difficult time.
Any future plans?
I hope to continue performing professionally for the next few years to whatever extent is manageable with my responsibilities to the growth of South Dakota Ballet. I want to hone in on my choreographic skills and begin creating and staging work across the country.
What are your biggest hardships that you have had to over come
Throughout my career I faced so many hardships I could write a book, and I may write a book covering these challenges someday. However, to generalize, my career as an artist has granted me the opportunity to hear “no” every single day (sometimes multiple times a day!). I have heard “no” more times than many people my age. It is particularly crushing to hear “no” as an artist because what they (the contract holders/choreographers/employers) are denying is a real piece of you; a piece of YOU that is NOT wanted. It has required me to be sure of my value as an artist and as a human. I have had to choose to refuse to let the word “no” stop me from realizing my potential, losing my confidence and crumbling at aversion.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
This question is hard to answer. I feel that my biggest accomplishment was finally facing reality. We don't live forever. Everyone is wearing an invisible clock counting down to zero. Life is what you make it. You get out of it what you put into it.
What is one thing you want your future daughter or other young women to know as they grow up?
If it is in my cards to have a child someday, I hope that they discover early on that there is beauty in the process. It doesn’t matter what that process may be (becoming a successful swimmer, striving to be accepted into Harvard or delivering newspapers), but one must fall in love with the process in order to realize their potential for resilience and impact. Society is currently very outcome oriented. I’ve watched people turn their backs on their dreams when faced with “failure” or the inability to achieve their desired outcome. I hope that my children will understand that the process is where the party is at. The process is where work humbles the spirit, nurishes the soul and directs one to their mission on this earth. To be in love with the process, is to be in love with the work that is necessary to achieve the desired outcome. When one is in love with the process they will wholeheartedly commit themselves to a vision and get closer to their goal —if not meet it with a smile on their face.
What is a favorite quote?
"It is about being a warrior...This is your path and you will pursue it with excellence. You overcome your fears because your goals demand it of you."