Faculty

Headshot of Kyle Abraham wearing a black hat and pink turtleneck

Kyle Abraham

Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professor of Dance

Contemporary, Repertory

Kyle Abraham, MFA, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. He is the founding Artistic Director of A.I.M, an American contemporary dance company. In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham has been commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center, The Royal Ballet, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Woman in blue top

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.

USC Kaufman Faculty Member Gillian Finley.

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, Founding Director

Ballet, Composition, 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. 

Shannon Grayson

Assistant Professor of Practice

Jazz, Tap, Social Dance

Shannon Johnson Grayson is a dancer, choreographer, educator and Howard University Graduate with a BFA in Dance Arts. She has taught for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for over a decade, is a certified Horton Technique instructor, NASM Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, and teaches various techniques and genres of dance at USC Kaufman.

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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.

Bonnie Oda Homsey

Bonnie Homsey

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance

Dance Leadership

Bonnie Homsey is a performer in concert and commercial work, artistic director and educator. She founded Los Angeles Dance Foundation in 1978 to cultivate awareness of dance legacies and to strengthen capacity-building. For 20 years, she served as Chair of Dance and Arts Advisory Board for The Princess Grace Foundation-USA. She currently serves on The Actor’s Fund Western Council.

Saleemah E. Knight

Assistant Professor of Practice

Jazz, Dance Studies

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.

Headshot of Rosanna Tavarez

Rosanna Tavarez

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance

Contemporary, Countertechnique

Rosanna Tavarez, MFA, is a choreographer, performer and educator. She worked with Marina Ambramovic, Ryan Heffington, Travis Payne, Tony Michaels and Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide. She toured with N’SYNC and Jessica Simpson and covered the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows for FOX, E! and Telemundo/NBC. Tavarez teaches Countertechnique and is a certified 500-RYT Yoga Instructor.