In College of Fine Arts and Communications, Experiential Learning

Students from the College of Fine Arts and Communications travel internationally to gain real-world experience and share their talents while studying abroad, competing, performing and interning

Each year, students in the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications take the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom and make their mark on their local and global communities. From New York to BYU’s backyard of Provo, these students are having inspiring learning opportunities all over the globe.

Read more about how students from the College of Fine Arts and Communications answered President Kevin J. Worthen’s call for inspired learning during July 2019.

NYU Summer Dance Residency

(Courtesy of Mallory Pruitt)

This summer, dance major Mallory Pruitt traveled across the country to participate in the New York University Summer Dance Residency. Pruitt worked with acclaimed dancers from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and internationally renowned choreographers David Dorfman and Ephrat Asherie for over three weeks.

The NYU Summer Dance Residency not only allowed Pruitt to see how another collegiate dance program worked but helped her learn more about dance education and added to the knowledge she’s already gained at BYU. 

“Since starting my education at BYU, I have rediscovered dance in a more metaphysical and spiritual way” said Pruitt. “College has taught me to dance with my soul and my heart — as well as my body and my brain. It has shown me how the arts can help unify, edify and uplift us and all those around us.”


Sundance Summer Theatre’s Production of “Mamma Mia!”

(Courtesy of Beatriz Melo)

MDT student Beatriz Melo is taking the stage this summer in the Sundance Summer Theatre’s production of the classic musical “Mamma Mia!” Through this incredible opportunity, Melo has been able to take the talents she has worked hard to develop at BYU and put them to the test. From singing to dancing, Melo does it all — all while being surrounded by the mountains of Sundance. 

“I absolutely love performing in the beautiful location of the Sundance Theater,” said Melo. “There is something so magical about being surrounded by the mountains and gorgeous nature while performing such a fun show.”

Melo was cast as an ensemble member of “Mamma Mia!,” but she also understudies for the dynamic trio — Donna, Tanya and Rosie.

“The most challenging part of this production has been being an understudy of not one but three major roles,” said Melo. “It has really taught me the value of hard work, preparation and support between fellow cast members. I have learned so much from the women I am understudying. I truly love and respect them as talented actresses and as my friends.”

The show premiered on July 18 and will run through August 10.


Martha Graham Dance Intensive in New York

(Courtesy of Veronica Scheuermann and Lindsay Chinain)

BYU dance students Veronica Scheuermann and Lindsay Chinain attended a three-week long summer dance intensive in New York at the Martha Graham School. Martha Graham is considered to be one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and the intensives at the school focus on helping dancers progress quickly in the Martha Graham Technique. 

“This intensive helped open my eyes to the life of a professional dancer. I learned so much about the importance of personal motivation, artistry and strength,” said Scheuerman. “All of the classes were held in the Graham Studios with stunning views of the Empire State Building and the New York skyline. I kept pinching myself because I couldn’t believe I was actually there doing what I loved! I am very thankful to both BYU Dance’s Experiential Learning Funds and CFAC’s Oscarson Discovery Grant for helping to fund this incredible experience!”

In addition to improving their dance technique, Scheuermann and Chinain toured the city, visited museums and experienced much of what New York has to offer.


Stockton Folk Dance Camp

(Courtesy of Lindsay Chinain, Lindsey Christensen and Emma Lou Giauque)

Members of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble traveled to Stockton, California for a week of learning and performing traditional folk dances from around the world. For over 70 years, folk dance enthusiasts have gathered at the Stockton Folk Dance Camp at the University of the Pacific to learn from featured international guests.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had this week to learn dances from all around the world from the amazing instructors at Stockton Folk Dance Camp,” said Emma Lou Giauque. “Most of all, I’m grateful for the friends I have made along the way. They inspire and push me to become the best I can be.”


Oklahoma City Ballet Intensive

(Courtesy of Brynn Lewis and Chelsie Sherwood)

Theatre ballet students Brynn Lewis and Chelsie Sherwood traveled to Oklahoma City for a six-week ballet intensive with the Oklahoma City Ballet. Taking the knowledge and skills they have learned at BYU and throughout a lifetime of dedication to the art, Lewis and Sherwood auditioned for the program and were accepted. 

In Oklahoma, they were immersed in an exhaustive professional training program. Classes on ballet, pointe, variations, partnering, jazz and more are taught by guest artists and Oklahoma City Ballet instructors. 


Art Summer Intensive

(Courtesy of Chris Lynn)

Members of the BYU Department of Art visited eight locations throughout the western United States during the summer art intensive program. This program is designed to allow students to explore nature and critically think about why people migrate to and from places. To help get a better idea of the locations they would study, BYU art students and professors Chris Lynn and Joe Ostraff examined the maps and taxonomies of multiple places in Utah, Nevada and California.

These studies led the group on various field trips to locations such as Moab, Green River, Wendover, Mesa Verde and San Francisco. After their field studies, students were assigned to create art and write field reports about their experiences. 

“Students are encouraged to create projects that respond to the sites we visit,” said Lynn. “These mostly take the form of zines — small artist-made magazines.”

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