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Erinn Liebhard: "I rely on the skills 4-H taught me as I develop my artistic career.”

Meet Erinn Liebhard, a proud Scott County 4-H alum who is passionate about using dance to better the lives of others. She is our May Minnesota 4-H Featured Alum!

Erinn joined Scott County 4-H as a Cloverbud and deepened her participation every year until she graduated. Her favorite project areas were performing arts, youth leadership, demonstrations, and fashion revue. She participated in Minnesota 4-H State Arts-In for multiple years are a participant, assistant director and choreographer, traveled to Washington D.C. as part of Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) in 2001 and was a 2002 Minnesota delegate to National 4-H Congress.
Erinn & Kim McAndrews planning
1996 Scott County Arts-In

Erinn served as a 2001-2002 Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. She learned a great deal from her fellow Ambassadors about the value and importance of Minnesota agriculture during her year of service. “I have this special memory of the State Fair 4-H dance at the end of my Ambassador experience.  It was really awesome to look around and realize that I was surrounded by people who had taught me about walks of life so different from my own. It was celebration of all I had learned and the friendships I had made.”

Erinn & fiancé Kris Olson at 2012 State Fair
As a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder, Erinn specializes in American vernacular dance forms including jazz, tap, clogging and hip-hop. She is a teacher, choreographer, performer, project coordinator and writer, creating opportunities for people to experience and consider the embodiment of music. Erinn also holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and credits 4-H with equipping her with the skills necessary to be effective in her professional life.

“I am convinced that I would not be as articulate of a speaker, mover and writer had I not grown up in 4-H. The program developed my public speaking skills, my performance skills and my ability to represent myself well. As a professional artist, I've relied upon these abilities in order to develop my career.”

In addition to teaching college classes for the past five years, Erinn has had choreography presented across the U.S. and Canada and performs for several dance companies in the Twin Cities area.  She is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Rhythmically Speaking, an organization that presents and supports jazz and rhythm-driven choreography. Her scholarly writing has been accepted for publishing in the Journal of Dance Education, among others.

When asked what advice she has for current 4-H’ers across Minnesota, she didn't hesitate: “4-H has the potential to connect you to life-long friends, to sharpen your speaking and interview skills, and to inform and open your viewpoints; let it!”

You can learn more about Erinn's work by visiting her website. We're proud to claim her as a Minnesota 4-H Alum!

If you would like to be a future Minnesota Featured Alum, please share your story using this online form. And if you'd like to nominate somebody you know, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins at erinkc@umn.edu to learn more.

Erin Kelly-Collins
Alumni Coordinator
Minnesota 4-H Foundation
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