USC Kaufman moved its operations online in March for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, but students across the many schools at USC continued to thrive in their virtual dance classes.
At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, we strive to create an environment of authentic belonging, but we know that many of our Black students, alumni, faculty and staff have felt unseen and neglected. As an organization that claims to uphold the value of equity, we must take immediate action to address these concerns and create meaningful change within our school.
On June 10, USC Kaufman BFA students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered for a virtual Town Hall and Collective Call to Action in response to the murders of Black people at the hands of police.
Our country is in mourning after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Dreasjon Reed and the countless other Black lives at the hands of police. We grieve for those who have died and for those who continue to be brutalized by this ongoing issue.
Admitted students for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s Class of 2024 recently attended a virtual panel with several of the School’s alumni. The speakers included Stephanie Dai, Satori Folkes-Stone, Paulo Hernandez-Farella and Jackie Schiffner from the Class of 2019.
The new USC Kaufman Maymester, DANC 339: Dance Capitals of the World, planned to take place in Berlin, Germany. Due to COVID-19, the course moved online for its three week session and adapted its syllabus accordingly.
On Friday, May 15, 2020, the University of Southern California hosted its first-ever online conferring of degrees. Following the ceremony, USC Kaufman hosted a virtual celebration for its graduating seniors.
The USC Kaufman Class of 2020 senior projects covered a wide range of subjects and exhibited their hard work. The projects allowed BFA’s to explore their academic and personal interests with their background in dance.
In recent months, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s community engagement initiative, Kaufman Connections, has found a new life online. Both USC Kaufman and its partner in this program, 32nd Street Elementary School, shifted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance student Adam Vesperman (BFA ‘20) chose to explore the advantages of occupational therapy screenings with BFA students for his senior project. He planned to implement yearly check-ins for dancers to address their unique needs, both mental and physical.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance student Rachel Harris (BFA ‘20) chose to research the intersection of dance and technology for her senior project. She created a prototype brace that detects motion and turns it into thermal energy.
From their homes all across the country, students, staff and faculty sent in video submissions to share what makes the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance special to them.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance student Amaria Stern (BFA ‘20) drew inspiration for her senior project from a longstanding passion. She chose to pursue the spectrum of Black dance as it relates to her studies thus far.
Backyards and living rooms have become dance studios. Kitchen counters and dining room chairs are now ballet barres. This is the new normal for students and faculty at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
In their culminating senior projects, a few BFA students at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance chose to highlight philanthropy as it relates to dance and other areas of study.
“The New Movement” philosophy is perhaps, most radically, informing the program’s approach to ballet, coupled with the requirement to study and train in hip-hop and social dance practices.
In the interest of public health and safety, the University of Southern California announced that all classes will be held online for the rest of the semester. Read more for USC Kaufman specific updates.
So much has changed in the last few weeks and we continue to adapt as guidelines from the University as well as from local, state and national governments are established. Although we are all still adjusting to this new reality, our commitment to providing high-quality dance instruction remains the same.
During the Spring 2020 semester, BFA students at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance collaborated with faculty members to create new works.
At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, BFA dance majors participate in several types of performances. Aside from the obvious fall and spring repertory showings, performance opportunities present themselves in several ways.
Sidney Chuckas (BFA ’21) has always been drawn to architecture. However, he did not always plan to study the subject in college.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance invites applications for the position of Part-Time Lecturer in Jazz Dance to provide specialized instruction in the area of Jazz Dance.
This semester, we had the opportunity to engage in a collaborative experience with students from the USC Thornton School of Music and produce our own student works. We were divided into several small groups and were paired with a student composer.
On February 29, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance held its third biennial Cypher Summit. This event exists as a space for dancers to converge on the preservation of authenticity of hip-hop dance in education.
On February 25, Mariana Carrillo (BFA ’20) presented an evening of dance at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles. This event was created as part of her senior project for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, students’ overall health and wellness is a top priority. Dr. Marisa Hentis leads the school’s physical therapy program and teaches two related courses for BFA students: DANC 105 Dance Science and DANC 103 Conditioning for Dancers. Through these offerings, students can learn how to take care of their bodies from both the practical and academic perspective.
This February, more than 20 USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance supporters gathered in New York City to attend the revival of West Side Story on Broadway, in which alumni Satori Folkes-Stone (BFA ’19) and Madison Vomastek (BFA ’19) are cast members.
This February, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance faculty member Jackie Kopcsak premiered her commissioned work “PAIR/US” at Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum. Her cast consisted of eight members from USC Kaufman’s Class of 2022.
The Choreography for Stage and Screen Minor is one of four minor programs offered at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. This program specifically explores the different techniques used to create dances for the stage and screen, including new media.
USC Trustee Rod Nakamoto and his wife Elsie have made a gift to the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance to create The Rod and Elsie Nakamoto Endowed Student Travel Fund. This fund will support student travel related to their studies, including performance opportunities for USC Kaufman, with an emphasis on international travel.