I have aspired to be a part of the USC Kaufman family since I first decided to pursue a career in dance. Being a part of USC Kaufman means you are a part of a diverse, talented, and extremely inspiring family that becomes your support system as you embark on your post-high school dance journey.
Working with Zeitgeist Dance Theatre (ZDT) this past summer was not only an exploration of movement and storytelling, but also an investigation into the current landscape in America. ZDT planned to have a live performance in Salt Lake City, Utah to premiere the new company. However, we switched to an entirely virtual setting because of the global pandemic.
Ate9 has been consistently taking the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus while keeping our community safe. They require us to wear masks, social distance and regularly wash hands. Once we began in person, everything just fell into place.
Entering my first semester here at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, I expected a pretty busy schedule in the best way. It sure did deliver! As a dance major, I was so excited to merge both my academics and dance throughout the day.
A day in the life of a sophomore USC Kaufman student is filled with both dance and academic classes. Through the BFA Core, we gain a foundation in technique, performance and composition, combined with courses in history, theory and more. In addition, we get a well-rounded liberal arts education through the university’s General Education (GE) and Writing program.
At USC Kaufman, you are able to pick from a variety of concentrations, and that choice informs what classes you take as you progress through your last two years. I have always wanted to dance in a contemporary company, which is why I declared dance performance as a concentration.
Senior year was a whirlwind. Between traveling for auditions, finishing up GE courses, and starting a minor, there was never a dull moment. This is a day in my life as as senior at USC Kaufman!
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.
USC Kaufman offers a multitude of leadership opportunities. BFA dance majors can represent their class in the Student Advisory Board, teach young students in the community, work with administration, or facilitate their own senior project. We asked a few students about their leadership roles here at USC Kaufman.
This past year, I had the privilege of dancing the lead role in a music video for Big Wild’s “6’s to 9’s.” I was so excited because this was my first ever professional job and I would not have been able to get the opportunity without my USC Kaufman community!
Before switching into “performance mode” here at USC Kaufman, I, along with the entire Class of 2022 and Class of 2023, had the privilege of working with Silas Riener. Together, we delved into the work of Merce Cunningham.
At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, we have the amazing opportunity to have a variety of artists and choreographers come in and share their knowledge and passion for dance with us. Barak Marshall, one of our Artists in Residence, is currently in the studio with us. He has shared much more than phrase work over these past few weeks.
Our Vice Dean and Artistic Director Jodie Gates mentioned in one of our first moments with her that, “It is [the goal of the school] to have every USC Kaufman student graduate with a passport.” This really hit home for me because I see the true value of traveling, especially as an artist.