Artist in Residence Penny Saunders joined the faculty at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance this fall. Through August and into September, she has collaborated in-person with the Class of 2023 on a new work. The piece will be performed through livestream on Saturday, September 18.
Outside the BFA program at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, dancers can become involved in the dance community at USC in many ways. With over 15 dance clubs in various styles, dancers of all backgrounds can find their place on campus.
In addition to previously announced Artist in Residence Penny Saunders and Lecturer Rosanna Tavarez, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes five new faculty members this fall. These include lecturers Molly Bogunovic, Ebony Haswell Frazier, Grasan Kingsberry, Jason Rodgers and Danté Rose. Each will bring their diverse perspectives to the School of Dance as the USC Kaufman community reopens their studios for in-person learning.
After a year of dancing on Zoom due to COVID-19, Lauren Brophy and Jenna Meilman (BFA ’23) began to feel the mental strain of online classes. As they looked toward their junior year at USC Kaufman, they felt eager to fill a leadership role at the school, especially surrounding mental health. After talking with their peers in the Class of 2023, Brophy and Meilman saw the toll of virtual classes and sought to create an outlet for their classmates.
Over the past two decades, USC Thornton School of Music Dean Robert Cutietta has led an inventive reimagining of arts education. As he gets ready to step down as dean at the end of the 2021-22 academic year, Cutietta is quick to point out that the major changes happening during his watch have been far from a solo effort. Faculty members and administrators sharing his vision made it possible to push groundbreaking programs forward.
To kick off the new school year, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will host a variety of events in tandem with the greater university’s Welcome Experience. The Welcome Experience is a six week schedule of programs intended to support students as they acclimate to the new year. Welcome Experience events will take place through September 3.
USC Kaufman’s newest group of BFA students will become the school’s seventh cohort of dance majors. The Class of 2025, with 25 students total, will begin courses August 23. Learn more about each dancer.
This coming semester, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will offer its students the chance to engage with renowned guest artists and repertory as our dance studios begin to open. Guest artists Kara Wilkes, Toyin Sogunro and Peter Chu will engage with BFA students remotely throughout the semester. BFA students will also learn repertory from current USC Kaufman faculty and Artists in Residence.
One of my most memorable classroom experiences so far would have to be Afro-Cuban with Professor Anindo Marshall. Until the Kaufman Summer Bridge, I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn from Professor Marshall nor experience this exciting dance form. In class, she and one of our incredible accompanists drums as we create polyrhythms with our bodies and movement. The high energy drumming paired with the expressive movement creates an experience unlike anything that can be felt online.
After a long year of virtual dance, I was eager to participate in a few in-person summer intensives, including Laguna Dance Festival in Irvine, Calif. and SHARE: The Dance Intensive in Paris, France. Both intensives were a wonderful way to reconnect with my peers and the dance community as a whole, and my excitement to return to in-person instruction at USC Kaufman is more magnified than ever!
Pulling off an online intensive can be a daunting task. Because of this, I was not sure what to expect from a two week long, seven hours a day Zoom intensive with the dance company BODYTRAFFIC. I am happy to report that the experience was not only inspiring, but humbling as well.
This fall, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes two new faculty members. Penny Saunders will join the School of Dance as an Artist in Residence. Rosanna Tavarez will become an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Due to remote learning, BFA students have been unable to dance as rigorously as they normally would. To prepare dancers for in-person activities, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance created DANC 149 Kaufman Summer Bridge and DANC 549 Pre-Professional Dance Techniques. These courses offer in-person dance classes to BFA students enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year, including those who graduated in the Class of 2021.
As we look ahead and assess the successes and challenges of the past year, we turn our focus to what has always been one of our School’s highest priorities: strengthening the USC Kaufman Scholarship Fund so that students’ decision to attend USC Kaufman and take advantage of all the School has to offer are not hindered by financial barriers.
With dance studios closed due to COVID-19, Jonathan Alexander (BFA ’23) wanted to find new ways to hone his creativity during quarantine. While exploring new mediums, he found a passion for songwriting, which led him to produce his first pop single, “Love a Little Harder.”
Alexis Augustine, a dance minor at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, drew from her past struggles with mental health issues to create her nonprofit, Change the Stigma. This organization strives to eliminate misguided stereotypes through discussion and open-mindedness in the arts and community events.
Anja Tempel (BFA ‘24) began her freshman year at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance last fall. After a summer of global protests calling for racial justice and her first semester in DANC 107 World Perspective on Dance Performance with Lecturer Achinta S. McDaniel, she was inspired to begin a directed research project at USC Kaufman with McDaniel regarding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within dance.
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.
On Thursday, May 13, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance hosted a virtual celebration to honor the Class of 2021. In addition, the University of Southern California hosted an in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, May 20.
Sidney Ramsey (BFA ’21) will graduate from USC Kaufman this spring as the school’s first double major. She pursued two degrees in Dance and Health and Human Sciences as well as a minor in Psychology. During her time at USC, she was able to see her studies intertwine through coursework and supplemental research.
Last month, USC President Carol L. Folt approved Dean Robert Cutietta’s nomination of Renae Williams Niles to the USC Kaufman Board of Councilors. In addition to being a founding member of the school’s original Board of Advisors, Williams Niles served as a USC Kaufman staff member. She joined the organization as Director of Advancement and eventually became the school’s first Associate Dean of Administration.
This month, Off The Lane, a nonprofit organization committed to developing programs to empower artists early in their careers, launched the inaugural Ann Reinking Scholarship. Bonnie Homsey, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, recently joined the Advisory Board of the scholarship as the Chair of the Application and Adjudication Committee.
Each year on the USC Day of SCupport, USC alumni, parents and friends come together to demonstrate the power and generosity of the Trojan Family. On Tuesday, May 4, 2021 we invite you to unite with your fellow Trojans to support USC Kaufman artist scholars with a gift of any size to the USC Kaufman Scholarship Fund.
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes a variety of USC students to join the community as dance minors. These students blend their dance training with their chosen majors to create their own path of interdisciplinary studies. Read on to discover how two alumni of the program draw from their dance minor in their postgraduate lives.
For her senior project, Alexandra Policaro (BFA ‘21) envisioned a topic that wouldn’t simply satisfy the assignment but could offer a longer commitment to the work. She drew from a longstanding interest in health and fitness to create her own business, Accessible Practice. Through the business, Policaro shares her passion for the Gyrotonic Method as well as other wellness practices.
For his senior project, Sasha Zitofsky (BFA ‘21) always knew he wanted to produce a dance film. The subject didn’t come into focus until this past summer, but he knew he wanted it to display themes of empathy and connection, which are present in his past works. As Zitofsky reaches the final stages of his filmmaking process, he wants the project to show a new sense of honesty in his work.
When deciding on the topic of her senior project, Londyn Alexander (BFA ‘21) chose to combine her two artistic passions: dance and fashion. She seeks to explore the relationship between the two complementary disciplines through an original short film and a fashion presentation in collaboration with two designers.
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has named Kyle Abraham to the Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professorship of Dance. Starting fall 2021, Abraham will begin working with USC Kaufman. In addition to Abraham joining the USC Kaufman faculty, up to 10 members of his dance company, A.I.M., will teach a week-long intensive every December at USC Kaufman.
COVID-19 may have halted the live, theatrical experience of the dance industry, but many minds are still hard at work creating adaptive and artistic projects in the field. Brianna Mims, a Class of 2019 alum, has been quite active since graduation with many collaborative projects. Read on to discover more about her work since her time at USC Kaufman.
USC Kaufman invites applications for the position of Admission and Student Services Officer. Reporting directly to the Assistant Dean of Admission and Student Service, this individual is a part of a team of three student services advisors. This individual will work closely with a dynamic team of staff and faculty in delivering a range of student services.
Gain insight into our live auditions at the this full-day online event featuring faculty master classes, an information session and a student panel. Master classes include ballet with Jackie Kopcsak, contemporary with Patrick Corbin and hip-hop with Tiffany Bong.
Centering Hip-Hop and Black dance practices at USC Kaufman, Cypher Celebration will highlight the sophistication and creativity of real-time Improvisation/Freestyle in this live performance exchange of movement ideas and forms.
Experience two world premiere works by USC Kaufman faculty Patrick Corbin and Amy O’Neal, performed by members of the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025.
Join us for an inspiring afternoon of dance intended to create connection, build community, foster well-being, and prompt reflective discussion on the intersection of dance, health, and thriving.
If you’re an international student interested in USC Kaufman, join us for this information session specifically created for you.