We had the good fortune of connecting with Madie Farmer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madie, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I trained extensively in classical ballet. I took one dance class at 3 years old and never stopped. I fell in love with it. My journey with dance led me from downtown Pittsburgh, to Jackson, Mississippi, and now to Houston, Texas. I’ve had many ups and downs throughout my dance life, including leaving the ballet world for modern/contemporary dance, but it has all helped me discover and befriend who I am as an artist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The part of my journey I’m on now, actually began by accident. Dance had always been my safe place growing up, where I could forget anything that was bothering me and pour my attention, focus, and energy into an art. However, when I turned 20 I lost all interest in dancing. I quit and was in a very low place. For the life of me, I could not get myself in the studio. I dreaded it. I lost passion for anything else as well. Simple tasks were very difficult. After a visit with my doctor I was diagnosed with significant clinical depression and began treatment for it. At the time, I was working in a studio office. I started to use time after my shifts to be in the studio by myself, and eventually with a close friend. This was time for me to be imperfect, dance without judgment, and create freely. I cried a lot, I pushed myself a lot, and I had to relearn my limits. Some nights I’d be there 30 minutes and other times over 2 hours. As time went on I grew more comfortable and wanted to share what I had started creating. That began “Madie Choreography.” I now have Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube platforms where I share my work. The journey wasn’t easy, and still isn’t. I face challenges all the time. I find that I have to prioritize my mental health, respect my own limits, and encourage myself regularly. I want my art to promote a healthy approach to dance and an open place to discuss mental health. The dance industry has a lot of flaws. Eating disorders affect most, and a lot of mental health harm is done in general. I want my art to inspire others to remember that life is more than dance or their occupation. There’s a whole world out there, and a whole life to be lived. Don’t reach the end of your life wishing you had lived more.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend were to visit Houston I would definitely want to take them to the waterwall. That was one of my first places to visit and I thought it was so beautiful. I would also walk the Arboretum with them. That is my favorite place to have alone time, process my thoughts, and enjoy nature within the city. I’ve also discovered a lot of fun coffee shops! Agora is my favorite, but I also like A 2nd Cup and their mission to help end sex trafficking. If they want to go downtown we would have to get pizza at Frank’s. My friend group made it a point to have me try it when they found out I hadn’t yet, and yes the pizza is really good, haha.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I, of course, have to give credit to my mom for enrolling me in dance in the first place, and my dad for encouraging me and providing for me to pursue the opportunities I received. Second, all of my dance instructors over the years, for believing in me, correcting me, encouraging me, and pushing me. Lastly, to my friends for being a support system for me inside and outside of the studio.