Office of Student Academic Services
International Students and Scholars

Skidmore College Davis UWC Scholar
Nikhita Winkler ’15

Dance, Neuroscience (double major)
Red Cross Nordic UWC

Nikhita Winkler's dance video “Letting Go”was recently named Dance Teacher’s video of the month. Her dance partner in the video, Kwanele “Prince” Tsabedze ’16 (Swaziland, Red Cross Nordic UWC), is a fellow Davis UWC Scholar.


Who did you do your independent with? Two Skidmore students, Chris Coughlan ’15, who filmed and edited the video, and Kwanele “Prince” Tsabedze ’16, who danced with me. I danced in and choreographed the piece, in addition to doing the light design and staging.

Nikhita WinklerWhen and how did you come up with the idea? It came from a friend back home in Namibia. He was working on a cancer project and asked me to choreograph a dance. As I thought about the dance, I needed inspiration and thought about my father who passed away in 2004. During the process, I went through a breakup, which also played a role in the piece. 

What do you like most about it? It was successful in portraying emotions that an audience can understand and is touched by. It is very difficult as a choreographer to make the audience feel what you want them to feel through movement; yet, many people told me that it brought tears to their eyes. I believe I got my message across through all my emotions which inspired the choreography.

Did it help you let go? I was able to pay tribute to my father. However, it was less about me and more about the people who watch the film. My goal in life is to have a positive influence in peoples’ lives and help them overcome their troubles through the power of dance. 

What's next in terms of dance? I’m planning on taking dance home to Namibia, hopefully, this summer. I hope to hold workshops in high schools as a way to motivate and help students find what they love, and use that passion to drive their lives to success and happiness. Basically, I want to do motivational speaking through dance. Many teenagers in Namibia are suffering from a lack of motivation and support. They have so many ideas and talents, but the environment does not inspire them to follow their dreams. While doing these workshops, I also plan to film everything and create another dance piece from that material. 

What's the best thing about Skidmore? Skidmore has an environment that inspires and supports creativity. For example, I plan to apply for a grant for my next project. Another great thing about Skidmore is that there are so many students who carry double majors. To me, that is an indication that as students we have not given up on the things we love. Even though many of us study a field that is relatively secure in generating income in the future, like business or economics, we can still follow our passions in dance or music. 

What are your future plans? To study movement psychotherapy in a country where I have not yet lived. But not before I take a gap year and travel or move to another country for a year. I am excited for change.