USC Kaufman Spring 2021 FAQ

October 20, 2020

exterior of Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center

Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center | Photo by Ema Peter

We are excited to share our plans for the Spring 2021 semester. As the COVID-19 situation evolves and new information becomes available, we will update this page accordingly so please check back frequently. Unless otherwise stated, this information pertains to BFA in Dance students.

For more information about the University’s Project Restart plans, including University messages, as well as general health and safety FAQs, please visit we-are.usc.edu. If you have additional questions, please contact Assistant Dean of Admission and Student Services Anne Aubert-Santelli at aubertsa@usc.edu.

Spring 2021 Key Dates

  • Spring semester begins Friday, January 15, 2021.
  • The last day of classes is Friday, April 30, 2021.
  • Final exams will take place May 5 – 12, 2021.
  • Commencement is currently scheduled for Friday, May 14, 2021.

Advisement

What should I do if I am considering taking a Leave of Absence?

Contact your advisor immediately. You will find general information about taking a Leave of Absence at loa.usc.edu.

Will I retain my scholarship if I take a Leave of Absence?

According to the Terms and Conditions you received with your dance scholarship notification, requests to keep a USC Kaufman award following a Leave of Absence must be made in writing to Anne Aubert-Santelli at aubertsa@usc.edu. Requests are not guaranteed, but will be considered based on the availability of scholarship funding and the reason for the Leave of Absence.

If I choose not to return to campus but still plan to enroll in the spring, what courses should I take?

Contact your advisor to discuss your options. If we meet Los Angeles County guidelines to move forward with in-person instruction, you will still be able to complete any in-person courses remotely, as those courses will be both recorded and streamed synchronously.

Will I have access to my advisor during the spring semester?

Until further notice, advisors will be working remotely. However, they will be available via phone, email and Zoom during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST).

Classes and Performances

Will BFA classes be held in person or online this spring?

As stated in the October 14 memo from Provost Zukoski, current state and local health restrictions preclude USC from resuming any on-campus activities. However, the University is speaking regularly with local health officials to advocate for a low-density plan for bringing students back for the Spring semester. All USC Kaufman courses will be available online. If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, Dance Technique, Repertory & Performance, Improvisation & Composition, Advanced Composition and Dance in Los Angeles will be held in the studio, generally with faculty in the room. All other courses, including BFA Core courses and Concentration Electives, will be online for the entire semester.

Will I be able to take in-person BFA classes remotely?

Yes. All courses will be both recorded and streamed synchronously for those who are unable to return to campus.

From where am I expected to take my online classes?

In order to limit the amount of people in the building, you are expected to take your online classes from your permanent address or another remote location. Students who need more than the 10-minute “passing period” to return to their residence between classes should contact their professors to discuss possible accommodations.

Will students who are returning to campus be able to alternate between taking classes in person and taking them online and/or watching the recording? If so, what will be the process for taking attendance and/or holding students accountable for class material?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, students will be able to alternate between taking classes in person and taking them synchronously online. Recordings will be available to students who miss class; however, such students will be marked absent. We will make exceptions for students who are abroad and unable to take class live due to time zone differences. Faculty will take attendance at the start of classes.

Will I have access to the studio prior to the start time of class?

In order to limit the amount of people in the building, you will not have access to the studio prior to the start time of class. You are expected to warm up at home. If we are able to make this accommodation later in the semester, we will do so.

Why is each BFA cohort being divided into two groups?

Dividing the cohort into two groups allows our faculty to provide Zoom instruction to smaller groups. If we are given approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction, it also allows students and faculty to maintain a safe physical distance in the studio. Regardless of if we are fully remote or hybrid, cohorts will remain in their small groups for in-person and hy-flex classes to ensure we adhere to Los Angeles County’s physical distancing guidelines. In general, and in accordance with University recommendations, groups will remain the same for each course. Group assignments will take into consideration who students are living with.

How will the choice to take a certain form for Dance Technique interfere with the prescribed groups?

In order to preserve the integrity of the Dance Technique curriculum, we want you to be able to choose your form on certain days. This means mixing cohort groups in this exceptional instance, which has been approved by the University.

How will Repertory & Performance work given that there will be cohort-specific works and cohort groups will be rehearsing in separate spaces?

Repertory & Performance will be unique to all other courses. Each choreographer will work directly with their cohort to find the best and safest strategy. If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, there will never be more than 13 dancers in a studio. Choreographers will likely work with groups of people who are living together or work with students on solos. There will also be an online coaching component for solo work.

Will there be performances this spring?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, we will plan to host performances without a live audience.

Will there be any opportunities for students to choreograph this spring?

Each choreography class has a different instructor. Please contact your professor for more information (Freshmen – d. Sabela grimes or Patrick Corbin (pending section); Sophomores – Jennifer Lott;  Advanced Composition – Jodie Gates). Freshmen will prepare for their in-class studio showing, which may be held virtually depending on County guidelines. Sophomores will collaborate virtually with USC Thornton students for our annual Choreographers and Composers concert, which may also be held online depending on County guidelines. Advanced Composition students will work directly with their professor on choreographic opportunities.

Will we be able to do group work (i.e. for senior projects)?

Students who are living together are permitted to do group work. However, all other group work is not permitted this spring.

Will partnering be allowed in the spring semester?

No. Partnering is strictly prohibited, but will resume if we receive approval from Los Angeles County to do so.

Facilities

Will students be able to reserve studios outside of class time?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, it is still likely that studios will not be available for reservations. If protocols are adhered to, and we can open studios safely for non-class related activities, we will certainly do so. Dance Operations will work closely with the Dean and faculty to address needs for audition videos, reels and senior projects.

Will students have access to the locker rooms and Collaborative Space?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, students still will not have access to the locker rooms and Collaborative Space. These spaces are unfortunately too small to enforce physical distancing and safety protocols.

Will students have access to the Training and Fitness Zone?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, physical therapy appointments will continue with protocols that follow safety guidelines. Students will not have access to community fitness equipment (i.e. rollers, dumb bells, cardio equipment). Pilates and Gyrotonics equipment will not be available for in-person instruction; rare exceptions may be made by faculty for students enrolled in directed research on those topics.

Will the outdoor spaces outside of USC Kaufman be available for lunch and breaks?

The courtyard will be converted to an outdoor dance studio, with limited space for other activities. Outdoor spaces on campus will be open and available for physical distanced activities (such as participating in online courses), based on Los Angeles County guidelines.

What HVAC system is in place?

The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center has a centralized HVAC system that is designed to exceed the fresh outdoor air supply required by state code. The filtration system is rated at MERV-14, one of the highest filters for commercial buildings.

Health and Safety

What is the protocol if a member of the USC Kaufman community is exposed to COVID-19?

The University has established a very robust program for handling cases of exposure to COVID-19 and confirmed cases of the infection when they are identified. For students living in USC Housing, USC will provide isolation accommodations for students who test positive for COVID-19 and quarantine accommodations for those who are exposed to COVID-19. USC also will offer space to those students living off-campus who cannot isolate and/or quarantine safely in their living situation. To notify the University about a positive case of COVID-19, call 213-740-6291. To arrange for testing due to exposure or symptoms, call USC Student Health at 213-740-9355 (WELL).

Everyone is expected to follow health provider and LA Department of Public Health instructions for isolation and/or quarantine, and to provide information needed by contact tracing teams in order to limit spread of illness.

What steps are being taken by USC Kaufman to ensure health and safety of BFA students taking in-person classes?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, USC Kaufman will follow all safety and health guidelines as set forth by University officials and by local and state agencies. If we work together to follow all recommendations and protocols, we are confident that we can return to in-person classes safely. It will require a group commitment to keep ourselves and each other safe.

Will BFA students need to quarantine when they arrive on campus?

At this point, there is not a mandate from the University to quarantine when arriving on campus. However, proof of a flu shot is required before the start of classes. Please note that, in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations, students arriving from abroad may be required to quarantine for a certain amount of time when entering the U.S. Students are responsible for all expenses incurred as a result of a quarantine requirement.

Will facial coverings be required during class?

Yes. The safest way to resume instruction is to wear facial coverings during class. The University will provide all students with a kit that includes three reusable masks. Students are responsible for bringing facial coverings with them to campus. If you need assistance, please contact Dance Operations at danceops@usc.edu.

How will physical distancing be enforced?

Inside the dance studios, spike marks will be placed to indicate a minimum of six feet of distance (more than six feet in some spaces). Students will be asked to maintain this six-foot distance spatially as they move. Outside the dance studios, it will be the personal responsibility of students to adhere to physical distancing.

Will BFA students be tested regularly?

USC has released a detailed testing protocol for all on-campus students, faculty and employees. Refer to this memo from Dr. Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer for USC Student Health for full information. Please be advised that students permitted to live in USC Housing or who have an in-person class must present documentation of a COVID-19 test performed within 7 days before their first day on campus. Details on uploading documentation and information about on campus options for this initial COVID-19 test will be posted to a COVID-19 testing instructions page on the USC Student Health website.

Is the University conducting contact tracing?

A dedicated USC contact tracing team through USC Student Health will coordinate notification of any exposed persons with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as any needed cleaning and community notifications. The dedicated team closely tracks all cases to allow for early recognition of outbreaks.

The University will provide regular online updates about rates of infection and notifications for groups who may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Notifications will be targeted to individuals and groups who may need to be tested, self-isolate, or self-monitor for symptoms.

Student Services

Will USC Kaufman employ student workers this spring?

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and if student workers complete required training as outlined by the University, we will do our best to employ student workers this spring. However, with modified operations in place, the nature and frequency of this work will be different.

What opportunities will Career Services offer this semester and how will they support seniors?

Career Services will offer virtual events and workshops related to future employment opportunities both dance and non-dance related. Directors, agents and choreographers will be invited to these events, which will include senior solos. We will also continue to offer career stipends, and in some cases, time off for professional development.

Are USC Kaufman students guaranteed USC housing?

More information about USC housing will be provided by the University shortly.

Will Student Services organize student activities this semester?

Yes. While Los Angeles County does not permit in-person activities, we will organize virtual events throughout the semester. Some events will be recorded for those who cannot attend them live. We will also continue to provide stipends for student-organized virtual events.

International Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the enrollment of our international students especially challenging and unpredictable. All international students are strongly encouraged to consult with the USC Office of International Services (OIS) about travel restrictions, visa processing and other guidance related to their status as international students. After making contact with OIS, speak with your advisor to discuss your registration options for the spring semester.

Musical Theatre BFA Students

If we receive approval from Los Angeles County to move forward with in-person instruction and can meet their health and safety guidelines, dance technique classes for the BFA in Musical Theatre will be held in-person in the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center. In some cases, the faculty member may stream into the studio from a remote location inside or outside of the building. Please contact Sergio Ramirez at seramire@usc.edu with any questions.

Dance Minors, Elective Students and Dance Clubs

All dance minor, elective courses and musical theatre dance classes will be held online. Dance minors, elective students, musical theatre majors and dance clubs will not have access to the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, and will not be able to reserve studio space during the spring semester.

If you are a dance minor, elective student or dance club, please contact Leanna Bremond at lbremond@usc.edu with any questions.


For the latest updates from the University of Southern California, please visit we-are.usc.edu.