Jessalyn Ward (she/her)

San Clemente, CA

BFA Class of 2023

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Originally from San Clemente, California, Jessalyn Ward began dancing at just two years old, training predominantly in ballet, contemporary, jazz and vocal arts. In high school, she studied extensively at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy and Jessie Riley’s Westside Dance Project, a pre-professional contemporary dance company where she worked with Bret Easterling, Spenser Theberge, Jermaine Spivey and Alex Ketley. Jessalyn supplemented her training at summer intensives including Jacob’s Pillow Contem- porary Ballet, The School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The Juilliard School.

Upon receiving a generous Glorya Kaufman scholarship, Jessalyn began pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at USC. She performed repertory work by William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián and Justin Peck, among others. On top of her rigorous dance schedule, she takes vocal lessons at the internationally recognized USC Thorton School of Music. Jessalyn is committed to serving the Kaufman School by maintaining leadership positions, as one of two Student Liaisons to Faculty Affairs, where she bridges the gap between faculty and students, distributes information and advocates for her peers.

Jessalyn carries grace, integrity and an optimistic attitude throughout her everyday life. She strives for technical excellence and honest, artistic vulnerability, while constantly investigating the intangible emotional weight of every movement. After graduation, Jessalyn plans to join a company that performs extensive classical and contemporary repertory. Later, she aspires to pursue her passion for theater and to perform on Broadway. Jessalyn wholeheartedly looks forward to continuing her lifelong exploration of the physicality and artistry of dance.

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