Admission Advice: One-Minute Video Response

October 20, 2016


USC Kaufman BFA student Brandon Carpio gives his video response.

The one minute video response may be the most unique part of our application. We ask you to address the following prompt in one minute:

Being a part of The New Movement at USC Kaufman means honoring the past while looking ahead to the future. Where do you think dance will be when you graduate from our program?

Why include this with our application? When asked by a prospective student what one quality (if she could pick only one) she hopes that USC Kaufman students will graduate with, Vice Dean Jodie Gates responded: “To have an informed opinion about dance, and to be able to articulate that opinion.” Throughout your time in our BFA program, you will be asked to engage in spirited debate with your fellow students, faculty and distinguished guests in courses such as our annual Colloquiums. At USC Kaufman, we want students not just to be seen, but also to be heard.

How do you communicate your ideas most effectively? Here are some tips to consider:

  • Be authentic. Don’t try to memorize a script unless you have major acting chops. You’ll want to think about your response ahead of time and then pretend as if you’re having a conversation us. It’s okay if your response isn’t perfect from start to finish. I often recommend that students do a few of takes, pick the best one, and call it a day.
  • Be specific. You might reflect on where dance has been and where it is now in order to tackle the question about where dance will be in the future. If it makes sense to do so, you might consider using personal anecdotes or examples. A professor once told me that I should ask myself “why” and “why does this matter” when trying to defend my ideas.
  • Connect with the prompt on a personal level. Our hope is that your response is unique, not for the sake of being unique, but because something from the prompt resonates with you. You have an individual voice, so don’t be afraid to use it.
  • Check your video. Make sure that you’ve edited your video down to one response before uploading it to your application. Let’s just say that we’ve seen some pretty interesting bloopers over the years.

I know that this part of the application can seem daunting, but trust me when I say that it’s one of our favorites. Each year, we are in awe about what the next generation of dance leaders has to say.


By Anne Aubert-Santelli, Director of Admission and Student Affairs