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Dance Program Profiles

Sergio Guerra Abril dancing

Sergio Guerra Abril:
Class of 2019 

I chose to become a Dance major because I wanted to continue learning more about myself and the world through the lens of dance. What I enjoy most about the program is the freedom it provides to tailor the major to my academic needs. The major offers a broad, informative, and practical view of the dance field, that has allowed me to design my advanced concentration based on my interests. In fact, being a Dance and Mathematics double major is not as hard as one might think—some of my Mathematics classes are actually part of my Dance major, and the two disciplines create an academic life balance that maximizes my success. By taking this interdisciplinary approach, the program is allowing me to research where the two fields intersect.

Marcia Howard dances next to a sculpture

Marcia Howard: Dance Faculty

Teaching African Dance at American University brings me joy! It is amazing to observe students, who have had no prior connection with African culture, begin to open their lives to the powerful dance and music of the Malinke, Soussou, and Wolof people of West Africa.

KT Aylesworth kick their leg high on the steps of the American University Museum

KT Aylesworth: Class of 2020

I chose to become a Dance major because dance has always been such a huge part of my life. I can't imagine not dancing for a semester, and I enjoy delving deeper into familiar styles and also learning brand new ones. There is something for everyone, no matter what your level, and the staff, faculty, and students are always so welcoming to anyone who joins the program. As a Musical Theatre major, dance is already a big part of what I do, so adding on the Dance minor allows me to increase the amount of dance I get to learn about!

Alumni Sydney Baldwin smiles

Sydney Baldwin: Dance Minor '16

The AU Dance Program allowed me to continue practicing my art in an inclusive, fostering environment. It gave me meaningful opportunities— from being cast in my first-ever hip hop piece, to choreographing and executing my own work, to performing at The Kennedy Center. The dance program allowed me to explore all roles as a dancer and artist.

AU Dance Faculty pose outside of Katzen Arts Center

AU Dance Program Faculty

AU Dance Faculty boast a diverse range of artistic, scholarly and educational experience. They have worked locally, nationally, and internationally, and continue to reach audiences and students in countries such as Cuba, England, Vienna, Peru, Russia, and across the United States.

Sergio Guerra Abril, Class of 2019

Dance and Mathematics Double Major

Dancer tips to the right, falling gracefully, while in the AU Dance Studio

I chose to become a dance major because I wanted to continue learning about myself and the world around me through the body. I felt like dance could bring a more holistic approach to my learning and could teach me a lot of practical skills for post-graduation life. Besides, I had the opportunity of combining the two fields that I love the most into one program of studies, so there seemed to be no real reason why I shouldn’t do it.

Dance Capstone was probably the most impactful experience within the program, because it gave me the time and space to research and create a project of my own, one that would activate mathematical ideas in dance, while being exposed to all the elements that go into producing a dance performance. It was a huge amount of work, but collaborating with my capstone cohort through the process made it all worth it

I sense dance as a driving force in the moving world. The body holds a lot of knowledge of what happens and has happened around us, and by dancing, we are stepping into that knowledge, culturally, socially, economically, and socially. At the same time, we process this knowledge into creative expression by dancing, so we can not only learn from the world, but also have an impact on it.

The Dance Company has definitely been one of the most important experiences of the program for me. I’m grateful that I could work with many different choreographers, perform, choreograph, and present my own work. However, the greatest part about it was our community. We supported each other unconditionally while pushing each other to bring out our best work. It made the company really fun and rewarding to be part of. I particularly remember our trips together to the ACDA conferences and how much fun we had experiencing them together. And I know that many of the friends I made in the company, I will have for life.