One of the most common questions I get is whether or not you can have a minor in the arts at USC and still manage your engineering curriculum. The short answer is yes, it’s very easy to have an arts minor! So, now that’s out of the way, let me tell you why my minor is the best and I am so lucky to have had this opportunity at USCKaufman.
First let me list all the dance classes I have taken, feel free to look them up on the USC schedule of classes if you want to know more.
Dance classes I have taken:
* means it counted for my minor, everything else I took for fun
DANC280* – Introduction to Dance as an Art Form (also counts for general educations credit)
DANC324* – International and Historical Perspectives on Dance (another general education credit)
DANC181A* – Contemporary I
DANC181B* – Contemporary II
DANC183B* – Ballet II
DANC183C – Ballet III
DANC184B – Jazz II
DANC191 – Gaga
DANC362* – Pilates Mat Training
DANC499* – Dance for Zoom Fatigue
DANC499* – Musical Theater Dance Technique
Okay so it looks like I have taken a lot of dance classes, which I have, averaging just under 2 classes a semester. However, I never had to pick a dance class over an engineering one, in fact, they all fit in perfectly with my course schedule and I even took some engineering classes before my classmates because I had AP credits that transferred.
My favorite dance class has 100% been Gaga. It totally reframed how I saw dance and movement and made me a stronger dancer in one semester than at any other point in my dance practice. Gaga is hard to explain but it’s basically a movement language that anyone can do and focuses on using metaphor and imagery to conjure sensation within the body.
Musical Theater has also been a highlight! I am one of two non-fine arts students in the class and most people are preparing to have actual careers in musical theater. So, safe to say, incredibly intimidating. We had the artistic directors of Chicago come teach the choreography and music, we met with a casting director and even the teacher Kate Dunn, is a legit legend on Broadway and in choreography. It’s been a great learning experience to get to see the inner-working of the industry and being out of my comfort zone has been an awesome opportunity to work on being brave and taking risks!
As I look back on my time at USC Kaufman I just want to take the opportunity to thank the INCREDIBLE faculty I was able to take classes with. From Shannon Grayson and Jennifer Lott, who I took multiple semesters of class with because they are just that great, to Bret Easterling and Bruce McCormick, who had profound impacts on my dancing abilities. And of course Alison D’Amato who taught me everything I know about dance history and made me a better writer. Also so much love to Kate Dunn and Alice for being SO kind to me this semester and making me feel safe about being out of my comfort zone.
Overall, I love Kaufman with all my heart (almost as much as I love Viterbi) and I don’t know what I did to deserve such a strong dance education!