Founded in 2012 by a transformational gift from visionary founder Glorya Kaufman, the University of Southern California created its sixth art school and, at that time, its first new school in nearly 40 years. The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance expands upon USC’s unique signature as a world-class research institution with a deep commitment to the arts. With its enterprising vision for arts education, USC Kaufman is at the forefront of developing dancers, choreographers and dance leaders for the future.
The exciting opportunity to create a new school brought the chance to rethink the professional degree for the 21st century and the role of a dance school within the greater national ecology. To fulfill this monumental intention, USC Kaufman envisioned a new model of dance education – a hybrid and collaborative approach expressed in studio practice, music, choreography, performance, new media and scholarship, where artistic preeminence is combined with thoughtful industry access. USC Kaufman’s degree program embraces the artistic rigor of conservatory dance instruction with unparalleled academic opportunity offered by one of the world’s leading universities to shape the next generation of dance leaders who are connected to the world-at-large.
In addition to bringing together a stellar list of faculty and Artists in Residence, the program features the repertory of several iconic and innovative choreographers including faculty member William Forsythe, Vice Dean and Artistic Director Jodie Gates, Artists in Residence Hope Boykin and Barak Marshall, as well as George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Dwight Rhoden, Sonya Tayeh and Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit, among other significant dance-makers.
Graduates of the BFA program have gone on to secure contracts with Broadway productions and dance companies including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletMet, Ballet Hispánico, BODYTRAFFIC, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Oregon Ballet Theatre and RUBBERBAND, among others. They have also gone on to pursue careers in choreography, arts administration, marketing and business.