Jodie Gates was named vice dean and director of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in 2013. Under her direction, USC Kaufman hosts a revolutionary new interdisciplinary program that will open its doors to the first freshman BFA class in Fall 2015.
As an educator, director, choreographer and dancer, Gates is inspired by innovation and collaboration. Her 25-year professional performing career included serving as the former principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet, as well as an international guest artist in locations across the globe. She has performed for several presidents — including Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton — and has been featured in numerous television programs and festivals. Most recently, she held the position of Professor of Dance at the University of California, Irvine and served as a guest lecturer for numerous educational institutions.
As an internationally renowned choreographer, Gates has created and published over fifty original dance works for companies including Staatsballett Berlin, Colorado Ballet, American Ballet Theater II, Ballet West, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Washington Ballet and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Her work has been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “richly textured and profound,” by the Orange County Register. She continues to teach, stage and produce William Forsythe’s ballets, and is a master teacher and coach for professional dance companies and university programs worldwide. Gates has also staged productions for The Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Zurich Opera Ballet, Teatro La Scala, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Gates was recognized by the American Association of University Women for her leadership, dedication and contributions to the arts, and was named the Altria/ABT Fellow by American Ballet Theater. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works program. Gates is also the founding director of the award-winning Laguna Dance Festival.