I had no idea how a weeklong experience in New York City with the BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) could help me decide this was where I will pursue an MFA after graduating from BYU. While we were in New York, we brushed shoulders with professional dancers and choreographers, which opened my eyes to all the opportunities available to me.
Based out of the Gibney Dance Center, we took master classes in contemporary, Limon technique and contemporary partnering. These opportunities provided me with valuable real-world insights into pursuing a professional career in NYC. The classes were incredible and pushed me beyond what I have done in my college career.
Our CDT director Nathan Balser asked our team, “If you could take a class from anyone, who would it be?” Without hesitation I responded, “Kate Weare.” Although we didn’t meet Weare, I was able to take a class from one her dancers. It was an experience I will always look back at and pull from.
We got a behind the scenes Broadway master class and learned the choreography from “Wicked” before seeing the show that night. It was a dream to experience what it would be like to perform on Broadway in one of my all-time favorite shows.
Along with taking classes from accomplished dancers, my favorite part of the trip was seeing so many shows. We watched the Limon Dance Company in the historic Joyce Theater where the highlight of the evening was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Limon’s iconic piece, “Missa Brevis.” Seeing that piece performed in the Joyce Theater was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As a company we also saw “Then She Fell,” which is an immersive dance theatre experience. “Then She Fell” was breathtaking and uniquely beautiful. I took advantage of our time to see a variety of other shows and performances.
While I was in New York, I was able to tour graduate dance programs in the city. I realized this is where I want to continue my education as a MFA student.
Every single class, show and even the atmosphere of New York City was life-changing and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a student here at BYU and to be a member of this amazing dance company.
**Noelani’s husband, Adam, is also a member of CDT.