Professor Jodie Gates is the inaugural Director and Vice Dean of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. Under her direction, the school developed a revolutionary new program founded upon the notion of “The “New Movement.” Opening its doors to its first BFA class in Fall 2015, USC Kaufman introduced a novel curriculum grounded in interdisciplinary and collaborative research and practice.
For thirty years, Ms. Gates established a remarkable career as an educator, director, choreographer, and dancer. A highly regarded teacher, repetituer, and choreographer in demand by companies, universities, and dance schools around the world, she is committed to nurturing the next generation of dance artists. At the core of her philosophy of dance education is a commitment to facilitating collaborative projects with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong artistic vision. Above all else, Ms. Gates values innovation, bold ideas, risk-taking and a deep respect for tradition.
A celebrated ballerina, Ms. Gates was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet, as well as a guest artist with companies throughout North and South America, Mexico, Russia, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has been featured in numerous television programs and celebrated festivals, and was invited to perform for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., and Bill Clinton.
An internationally recognized choreographer, Ms. Gates has published over 50 original dance works. Her ballets have been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “richly textured and profound,” by the Orange County Register. She recently created works for Ballet West, Cincinnati Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, Colorado Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, BalletX, Washington Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and several other companies. She also regularly stages renowned choreographer William Forsythe’s ballets for companies such as the Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Prague National Theater, Zurich Opera Ballet, Teatro La Scala, Houston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ms. Gates is the founding director of the award winning Laguna Dance Festival in Southern California. Dedicated to dance education and presentation, for nearly a decade the organization has fostered artistic collaborations, developed audience awareness, and promoted community engagement in the arts.
Prior to her appointment to USC Kaufman, Ms. Gates was Associate Professor of Dance at UC Irvine, where she taught ballet and pointe technique, composition, contemporary and classical repertory, and contemporary partnering. She continues to coach professional dancers, mentor pre-professional artists, and assist undergraduate and graduate students with research and thesis projects.
Ms. Gates’ honors include recognition by the American Association of University Women for leadership, dedication and contribution to the arts; an Altria/ABT Fellow from the American Ballet Theater for choreographic excellence; selection as Artist of the Year by the city of Laguna Beach; and selection for the esteemed Jerome Robbins ‘New Essential Works’ program.