USC Kaufman provides invaluable resources through our Career Services. This includes panel discussions, master classes and workshops for all students. More services, such as professional headshots and monetary stipends, for fourth-year students. USC Kaufman’s Career Services also organizes special events for students to showcase their work and network with directors, choreographers and agents.
With the help of these resources, alumni have secured contracts with Broadway productions and over two dozen companies throughout the United States and other countries. They have also gone on to work in the commercial dance world, and to pursue careers in choreography, arts administration and entrepreneurship.
USC Kaufman is committed to providing students with the opportunity to build their professional resumes during their four years in the program. Students may take professional development opportunities during the academic year starting their second year. A Dance Internship course allows students to receive credit for extensive work.
USC Kaufman invites industry professionals from all over the country to select performances, as well as senior solo and student choreography showcases. After these events, Career Services holds receptions, where students are able to network with current directors, agents and choreographers. Industry professionals may also attend select rehearsals and classes, giving additional opportunities for students to foster relationships with potential employers.
USC Kaufman also provides several avenues for advice and discussion with seasoned professionals. Faculty members, Artists in Residence and guest speakers serve on panels about the employment climate in different sectors of the dance industry. Topics have included Los Angeles commercial work, concert dance in Europe, the New York dance scene and entrepreneurship in dance.
To further prepare students, Career Services works to ensure that graduating students have the appropriate materials in their professional portfolio. Professional headshots, formatted resumes and reel footage are all offered to students for their use. The school also manages an online portal that students can check for exclusive job and audition postings. In addition, a professional development board is updated with intensives, festivals and more. Once students plan auditions, they can request to be excused from classes for appropriate auditions and jobs.
In addition to providing these career resources, Career Services works to support BFA students with interests outside of performance and choreography.
Over the past year, Findlay McConnell (BFA ‘23) went on three tours with singer and dancer Tate McRae. The first tour was with iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in December 2021. This past summer, McConnell danced with McRae on her UK tour and her Australia/New Zealand tour.
Alumnus Noah Guthier (BFA ‘19) always had an interest in multimedia production in addition to dance. In his junior year at USC Kaufman, he began teaching himself the basic skills and softwares for motion capture work. Now, Guthier has created Purple Virtual, which focuses on his creative passion for motion capture and 3D art.
During her time here, Brianna Mims (BFA ’19) began creating work addressing various social issues. Her most recent project, titled Uncle Ronnie’s Room, tells the story of her uncle’s illegal incarceration. Uncle Ronnie’s Room consists of four parts: a billboard campaign, an archival installation at Chuco’s Justice Center, a docuseries and a performance by Mims.
Last month, BFA students at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance had the honor of taking a master class with the world-renowned dancer and choreographer Brian Friedman. This opportunity was a way for us to have hands-on experience in the commercial dance industry.
The Senior Spotlights showcase included group pieces, duets and solos of varying styles from ballet to commercial jazz. The purpose of this showcase was to invite industry professionals to watch the graduating class in an intimate setting. After the showing, there was a reception to allow dancers and guests to mingle.
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Career Services team hosted a panel with top agents in Los Angeles. Assistant Professor of Practice Saleemah E. Knight curated and moderated the event for USC dance majors, dance minors and musical theatre majors.
Since graduating in May, the Class of 2021 has begun to establish themselves in the dance world and beyond. These artist scholars have started their own businesses, are pursuing graduate degrees, dancing with renowned companies, working in the commercial dance industry and more. Read on to learn about their recent accomplishments.
On Nov. 10, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s Career Services team hosted a virtual presentation on entrepreneurship for dancers and other artists. Marianne Szymanski, an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business, spoke at the event where she advised students on how to become an entrepreneur and start their own businesses.
Dance Magazine caught up with five recent grads to see where they’ve landed and how USC Kaufman and its career services department prepared them for their future in the dance industry. Read on to learn more about Aurora Vaughan (BFA ’21), Ausia Jones (BFA ’20, Adam Vesperman (BFA ’20), Jessica Muszynski (BFA ’19) and Zach Manske (BFA ’21).
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance alumni Adam Agostino and Justin Epstein (BFA ‘19) launched their production company, RYBG, in the spring of 2020. The pair had already been collaborating as part of the media crew for USC Kaufman’s Dance Operations. They saw RYBG as a natural progression of this work. After the pandemic hit, they brought on fellow alum, Noah Guthier (BFA ‘19), to round out their multifaceted company.
Since their graduation and virtual celebration in May, members of the Class of 2020 have begun to establish themselves in the dance world and beyond. These artist scholars have embarked on opportunities with renowned companies, community outreach, teaching and training, commercial dance and more.
Nigel Lythgoe, a member of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s Board of Councilors, hosted a virtual conversation with the school’s BFA students and alumni. The event focused on his career journey, advice to aspiring professional dancers and the evolution of the dance field.
On Dec. 7, USC Kaufman Alumni Affairs hosted “The Next Step: Resources for the Developing Dance Professional” panel event. USC Kaufman alumni and current students attended the event, which discussed topics relevant to starting one’s dance career.
Since becoming the first cohort of BFA dance majors to graduate from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, members of the Class of 2019 have started to establish themselves in the dance industry and beyond.
As a new program, USC Kaufman is committed to forging new pathways in the career services department. Our career services team looks constantly for ways to ease the transition into a professional career. Whether through networking opportunities or workshops, our team actively provides channels into the professional world.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance alumnae Satori Folkes-Stone (BFA ’19) and Madison Vomastek (BFA ’19), who recently finished with their undergraduate studies, are packing up and moving across the country to another big city. The two dancers will join the cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of West Side Story.