Faculty

Hope Boykin

Hope Boykin

Artist in Residence

Contemporary, Repertory

Hope Boykin is a choreographer, performer and former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. An original member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, she also danced with Philadanco. Boykin serves as Artistic Lead for Kennedy Center Dance Lab and is an inspirational speaker. An educator, creator, mover and motivator, she believes “…there are no limits.”

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Kathryn Dunn

Lecturer

Ballet, Dance for Musical Theater

Kathryn “Kate” Dunn is a dancer, choreographer and educator known for performing on stage, screen and Broadway. Broadway/West End credits include Contact, On Your Toes, Chicago, Billy Elliot, Matilda the Musical, Groundhog Day and Dirty Dancing.

Bret Easterling

Lecturer

Contemporary, GAGA, Repertory

Bret Easterling is an international dance artist, creator and educator. After graduating from The Juilliard School, he performed with the Batsheva Dance Company. He is currently a certified Gaga teacher, stager of Ohad Naharin’s work and the Artistic Director of BEMOVING.

USC Kaufman Faculty Member Gillian Finley.

Gillian Finley

Lecturer

Ballet, Pilates

Gillian Finley is a certified Stott Pilates instructor who danced professionally with a number of ballet companies. She brings over 25 years of teaching experience to USC Kaufman.

Jesus Fuentes

Lecturer

Ballroom

Jesus “Jay” Fuentes is an accomplished ballroom dance educator and performer featured in iconic dance films such as Dirty Dancing and Newsies.

USC Kaufman Vice Dean and Director Jodie Gates

Jodie Gates

Professor of Dance

Ballet, Repertory, Senior Seminar

Jodie Gates is an internationally recognized leader, choreographer, curator, lecturer, teacher and stager. A former principal with Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Complexions and Pennsylvania Ballet, she is inaugural Vice Dean and Director of USC Kaufman and Founder and Artistic Director of Laguna Dance Festival. Projects include Billboards with Prince, events with Ornette Coleman and Savion Glover, and current collaborations with William Forsythe. 

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Paul Hodgins

Affiliated Faculty

Music for Dance

Paul Hodgins is a musician, composer, arts journalist, critic and educator who has worked with dancers and choreographers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for four decades. Hodgins is an important contributor to the field of choreomusicology, the study of relationships between music and dance.

Zippora Karz

Artist in Residence

Ballet, Repertory

Zippora Karz is a former soloist with the New York City Ballet, where she performed for 16 years on stage and in television. She is a master teacher, currently responsible for staging the ballets choreographed by George Balanchine.

Saleemah E. Knight

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance

Jazz, Dance History

Saleemah E. Knight, BFA, MFA, is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist, TV-personality, influencer and professional dancer. Commercial performance and choreography credits include: The Daytime Emmys, Dancing with the Stars, Country Music Television, The Lion King, Beyoncé, Chris Brown and more. She also danced works of renowned concert choreographers Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Fiona Lummis

Artist in Residence

Ballet, Repertory

Fiona Lummis is a master teacher responsible for staging the works of choreographer Jiří Kylián. She performed with Netherlands Dance Theater for two decades, dancing featured roles in many classical and contemporary ballets.

Jennifer McQuiston Lott

Assistant Professor of Practice

Ballet, Contemporary

Jennifer McQuiston Lott, MFA, is a dancer/choreographer who has collaborated with music artists such as Son Lux on projects for stage and screen. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Traverse City Dance Project. She teaches Countertechnique and contemporary partnering, and is certified in GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®.

Amy O'Neal

Lecturer

Hip-Hop, Dance History

Amy O’Neal is an award-winning hybrid dancer, choreographer and educator. Her experience and research meet at the intersection of hip-hop, house, and contemporary dance and experimental performance, video and film.

Victor Quijada

Victor Quijada

Artist in Residence

Contemporary, Repertory

Victor Quijada is the Founding Director and choreographer of the Montreal-based contemporary dance company RUBBERBAND. He has a rare perspective on a large spectrum of dance, possessing knowledge and experience that spans from the street corner to the concert hall.

Desmond Richardson

Desmond Richardson

Artist in Residence

Ballet, Repertory, Contemporary

Desmond Richardson is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Frankfurt Ballet. A Tony Award nominee and honorary doctorate recipient, he has been hailed by The New York Times as among the great dancers of his time.

Doug Varone, in black and white, looks straight at the camera with his right hand resting on his forehead

Doug Varone

Artist in Residence

Contemporary, Repertory

Doug Varone is an award-winning choreographer and director who works in dance, theater, opera and film. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for over three decades.