Day in the life: Sophomore Year

June 18, 2020

Benjamin Peralta dancing in the studio.

Benjamin Peralta (BFA '22) in the 2019 Sophomore Choreography Show | Photo by Mary Mallaney

A day in the life of a sophomore USC Kaufman student is filled with both dance and academic classes. Through the BFA Core, we gain a foundation in technique, performance and composition, combined with courses in history, theory and more. In addition, we get a well-rounded liberal arts education through the university’s General Education (GE) and Writing program.


My sophomore year, I was lucky enough to live at Century Apartments, which is just a 5-minute walk away from the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center (KDC) and right by the USC Village! These are apartment-style dorms are great if you’re looking for a little bit more living space while still having the security of University housing. Along with a shared bedroom, each apartment at Century offers a bathroom, living room, dining area, and full kitchen! Not to mention that Century also has a pool and designated “hang out” areas outside. One thing that I really appreciated about Century was that I felt like I was coming home after a long day of rehearsals as opposed to coming back to a dorm room.

Outside Interests

I am not planning on double majoring or minoring, as I am trying to free up my schedule for senior year! I’m front loading all of my GE requirements in hopes to have time to audition for companies, try to get commercial dance experience, and take advantage of any other job opportunities that LA has to offer, come senior year. I first came into the program hoping to minor in photography since it’s another passion of mine. However, I got hired as a photographer at USC Kaufman at the beginning of my freshman year which is giving me plenty of work and creative exposure when it comes to photography.

Benjamin Peralta dancing on stage.

Benjamin Peralta (front) dancing with USC Kaufman classmates in the 2020 Choreographers and Composers show | Photo by Mary Mallaney

Weekday Schedule

My schedule for the past two years has stayed relatively consistent. Every weekday started with an hour and a half of ballet class followed by either contemporary, hip-hop or partnering. After the two morning classes, underclassmen typically have a two-hour lunch break. You can eat, go to the gym, or take GE classes during this time! Last spring, I took Oceanography for my physical science class and loved it.

After my classes, my days were pretty much spent in rehearsals for student works, outside projects, extra performance opportunities, etc. If I wasn’t in rehearsal, you would likely find me at the gym (I’m a big fan of the gym. Not to mention USC’s gyms are top notch!). I also love hanging out with my friends in the USC Village after classes or exploring all of the great places that can only be found in LA.

The day-to-day

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the schedule after lunch was pretty much the same. As underclassmen, you are enrolled in Repertory and Performance, which meets from 2:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, BFA dance majors take other courses such as Music For Dancers, African American Dance Histories, Improvisation and Composition, and Introduction to Dance for the Camera: New Media and Editing. These classes generally take place during the same 2:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. timeslot.

In Introduction to Dance for the Camera: New Media and Editing, which is unique to sophomore year, we dove into the inner-workings of content creation. This course was PACKED with so much valuable information. We constructed our own conceptual videos and made websites to represent ourselves on a more professional platform. By the end of the semester, we had all successfully created two different dance reels, generated multiple video projects, wrote Artist Statements, and published our own websites.

Looking Ahead

As an junior, my dance classes will start later in the mornings (10:30 a.m. as opposed to 9:00 a.m.). This means I will have time to take GE courses before my dance classes for the day! This fall, I’m enrolled in Microeconomics and Environmental Studies to fulfill some of my GE credits, and I cannot wait. It’s always great to be surrounded by other majors in these GE courses. I also get the privilege to take advantage of USC as a whole.

At the end of the day, your experience at USC Kaufman is truly what you make of it. There is certainly enough room within the USC Kaufman schedule to take outside classes at other schools. You can pursue other interests, or maybe enroll in some elective dance courses. There’s so much to do at USC. I’d encourage incoming students to participate in as many programs, classes and organizations as you can!

Benjamin Peralta dancing on stage.

Benjamin Peralta (right) and Dylan Amsterdam (BFA ’22) in the 2020 Works in Progress Showcase | Photo by Mary Mallaney

By Benjamin Peralta (BFA ’22)