A Legacy Leading the Legacy
When she is not in class, in her executive internship in the Office of the President, or with her softball teammates, Emily Trotman ’21 can be found planning every detail of the 39th Annual Teddi Dance for Love benefitting Camp Good Days and Special Times, a longtime tradition that will – in many ways – experience many firsts.
Trotman, a legacy student whose brother, Jack, graduated in 2017, also had a cousin who chose Fisher. Caroline Polino-Kos, a member of Fisher’s Class of 2011, served as a captain of Teddi during her time at the College.
“I’ve always looked up to her, she is one of my best friends and closest cousins. I knew I wanted to be a part of that,” recalls Trotman.
Fast forward to her freshman year in 2017, and become a part of it is exactly what she did. She moved into a captain role her sophomore year, a role that inspired her to volunteer at Camp Good Days that summer alongside Alison Smith ’19 and Tyler Adams ’20, the rising chair and vice chair of Teddi 37. They grew closer through their week with the children at Camp, and their friendship inspired Trotman to apply for the vice chair role the following year. Indeed, she was chosen and served as vice chair of Teddi 38 alongside Adams.
She studied those who came before her, all the while wondering how she might shape the role if she had the opportunity to do so.
“I always looked up to them and said to myself, ‘I want to be up there talking and leading,’” she said.
One of the biggest lessons she learned from Adams was to always put Teddi first.
“He used to tell me, ‘You are going to be a face on campus and you have to represent it well and understand how much of an influence you will have in this role.’ He also taught me to delegate to the captains, who are just as invested as we are,” she said.
Today, Trotman says she “majors in Teddi.”
“Even when I’m going to classes, Teddi is almost like a child. I never realized it would be so much administrative work. I am in a constant mindset of wanting to make it the best one yet,” she said. “As chair, you go through classes, use your connections throughout the day, always having Teddi in the back of your mind; applying everything you’re learning and connecting everyone you’re meeting.”
When it comes to discipline, Trotman has plenty of it and says that being a student-athlete has helped her with that skill.
“Coming into school, I had to schedule practices, classes, and learn time management. I’ve tried to add something every year because I realized my first year that I should add extracurricular activities incrementally,” she reflected.
Because of the size, strength, and supportive nature of the athletics community at Fisher, one goal she has for Teddi 39 is to engage more of the athletic teams in fundraising and participation, and through pre-dance events like the Teddi Cup, she hopes to do just that.
Shortly after the success of Teddi 38 in February 2020, Trotman started her role as chair and the rest of the committee began to plan for Teddi 39. Shortly after that, the pandemic sent everyone home for the remainder of the semester. While there was another year of planning in store, she did wonder how the event might be impacted.
“In our first meeting, I told the captains to come with ideas for both virtual and in-person. We had no idea what was going to happen or how campus would be the next year,” she said. “We have a vice chair binder and a chair binder that gets passed to the next pair every year. We haven’t used the binders, there are so many things that have been different.”
While there will be several new aspects to Teddi this year due to its virtual nature, Trotman and team are working hard and hoping to hold on to several Teddi traditions.
“I believe in my committee, our committee will rise to the challenge and make this virtual event just as engaging as it would be if we were together. It’s been fun amid difficulty – it’s fun to be more creative and it has been interesting to think of different things we can do and how we can transition. The captains have responded with amazing ideas, too,” she said.
In the end, on Feb. 19 and 20, over 250 committee members, led by Trotman and Vice Chair Sam Carson ’22, along with hundreds of dancers, will pull off a first for this beloved Fisher tradition. Their t-shirts will bear one of Trotman’s favorite quotes, “Do all that you can, with all that you have, in the place that you are with the time you are given,” as they work to make this the best one yet.
To register for Teddi 39 or to make a donation, visit https://teddi.sjfc.edu/.