What’s In Your Bag?

Before going to the National Association of Schools of Dance annual meeting, Dr. Joan Frosch was in search of a new purse. Typically she goes for reds, oranges and blues.

Seeing as the meeting was in Tucson, Arizona this year, she found the perfect bag with a Western look. The orange bag with star and turquoise studs was a big hit for her.

As a professor of dance at the University of Florida, she knows how unpredictable the floor can be. Depending on the weather and air conditioning, it can be very slick and slippery or sticky.

She carries a pair of black sport socks in her bag for the times it’s sticky because she still needs to be able to demonstrate moves and technique for her students with ease.

Also, as the director of the Center of World Arts at UF, Frosch travels to research dances and artists all around the world. The main goal of the center is to connect local and global communities through the arts.

In August, she visited Argentina to learn more about Tango and how it gets expressed. Frosch discovered that because of its power in Argentina and how it’s seen as possibly working against the government, the dance is suppressed.

Art sparks a different motivation for artists outside the U.S. and Western Europe: It is used to send a message of social justice, emphasis and change for various issues.

In the zippers of her wallet she doesn’t open much, coins and bills from previous trips to foreign countries get stuck in there. She currently has an Argentinian coin as a reminder of her time this summer.

“I sort of keep it in there though,” she said. “It feels like a little good luck charm.”

Prior to teaching at UF, Frosch lived and worked in other parts of the world as a dancer, choreographer and actress. As an artist, she found it exciting living and working somewhere that had a sophisticated, general appreciation for visual and performing arts, whereas in the U.S. it’s more confined to certain areas.

While living in Holland, she acquired a taste for fresh flowers, which is seen as a common everyday item there. Every home she went into had a bouquet, and it quickly gave her a pleasant feeling each time.

Even though it’s seen as a luxury here, Frosch gets flowers every week for her home because of her habit. This week, creamy white roses caught her eye at Publix, and the receipt remained in her purse after the Sunday night shopping trip.

She’s become sort of an expert on fresh cut flowers and can make them last longer than anyone she knows here in the U.S. Oftentimes, she ends up mixing flowers from the previous week with the newly purchased ones. She tends to like the unusual colored roses and lilies.

She keeps them illuminated right under one of the three pendulum lights over her long stainless steel kitchen countertop.

“One of the criteria that I would have when I go to buy flowers is that they would be as closed as possible,” she said. “So I can watch them open during the week and enjoy that so every day there’s a little growth, even from morning to night.”

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