Student Blog: First fall semester

December 11, 2017


BFA freshman Chloe Kuka working in the USC Kaufman Collaborative Space | Photo by Mary Mallaney

By Chloe Kuka

With my first semester coming to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what made these first few months at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance so special.

Daily support

One of the reasons I chose to join this program was the kind and welcoming atmosphere cultivated by the faculty at my audition. Beyond their abundant wealth of knowledge, the faculty and staff are incredibly caring and invested in our success and well-being. They stimulate us to think on a deeper level; rather than simply teaching us how to execute movement, they encourage us to engage in critical discourse about dance as part of a heuristic path to artistic self-discovery. Their passion for dance keeps me excited for and engaged in the day-to-day work in technique classes.

Expert opinions

This semester has brought with it even more amazing opportunities than I thought possible. Taking class from luminaries such as William Forsythe, Dwight Rhoden, and Emily Molnar has sparked an artistic awakening within me; even from this minimal exposure to their wisdom, I have noticed a difference in the way I execute and observe the art of dance. Our weekly colloquium class has yielded a bounty of insight from such esteemed dance professionals as Vincent Paterson, Barak Marshall, and our very own ballet teacher Fiona Lummis. Performing in the halftime show for the homecoming football game, dancing on film for cinema student projects, and performing Dwight Rhoden’s Hissy Fits in my first-ever Kaufman Fall Dance Performance have all been wonderful experiences. The wide range of opportunities at Kaufman are unparalleled, and they speak to the program’s dedication to its mission: educating scholarly artists who are artistic chameleons, capable of executing a wide range of styles.

Family dynamic

But while these are incredible experiences, I equally treasure the little moments I have shared with my fellow members of Kaufman. Cheering each other on during movement ciphers, jamming to Kyle’s (our beloved accompanist) music during ballet class, playfully bantering in the dressing room on performance nights, and collectively rallying our energy during long days are all indispensable elements of the Kaufman experience. These people are a strong support system, willing to help without question and support without judgment. We are truly a family, one that I am so grateful to be a part of for the next four years.