Margaux Lieser ’18
Coming to college, I always knew I loved dance but wasn't sure what role it would play in my life after graduating. I can confidently say that my 4 amazing years in the Vassar Dance Department is the reason I'm now pursuing professional dance. The outstanding faculty gave me the tools to hone my craft, while fully supporting me as I explored my unique artistic voice. I also had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented, inspiring dancers, who later became my closest friends. I graduated, certain that I would continue dance after Vassar, with a newfound confidence and skill set to drive my dance journey forward.
Allison Sugino ’18
As someone who not only was a member of Vassar Repertory Dance Theater for all four years but who worked in the Dance Department for two years, the Vassar Dance Department was my second home on campus. During my first day of classes at Vassar, it was at the ballet barre that I felt at home at college for the first time. The Vassar Dance Department was where I found community, where I made some of my fondest memories, and where I met lifelong friends.
While I had danced my whole life prior to coming to Vassar, it was because of the Vassar Dance Department that I found the joy in dance again. I came in burned out from a pre-professional program and graduated as someone who not only continues to dance to this day, but also as someone working in the dance world! My connections from the Vassar Dance Department got me my position at American Ballet Theatre in dance administration, and for that I am forever grateful.
Zaoying Cherry Ji ’18
Words cannot describe the impact that the dance program at Vassar had on me. Dancing really helped me improve my posture and performance quality as a figure skater. After my first semester of ballet, I just couldn't stop. I was fascinated by the world of ballet that my teachers introduced us to. We even had the privilege of watching NYCB dancers perform right on campus. After college, I gained a deeper appreciation for how rare and wonderful those opportunities were. Ballet has continued to play a major role in my life and it all started in that gorgeous studio on the first floor of Kenyon Hall. I hope that more Vassar students would get to experience and enjoy the many courses that the dance program has to offer. I really can't imagine my Vassar experience without it.
Strider Kachelein ’17
Vassar's Dance Program was a primary reason why I chose this college, and it did not disappoint. I learned a great deal not only about dance but also musicality, history, anatomy, and life. The lessons I learned in Kenyon Hall have stayed with me, and I often think back to my experiences there. While I entered college with a passion that didn't match my ability, after graduating I gained the skills and experience to teach ballet at a dance studio, audition for small companies, and have a far greater understanding and appreciation for this art. None of my experiences could have been possible without the amazing work of the dance faculty. John Meehan, Miriam Mahdaviani, and Steve Rooks excelled in their fields and cared deeply for each student. Furthermore, their connections brought in world-class talent that even further heightened our learning in dance.
Maranda Barry ’16
My years in Vassar's Dance Department deepened my training as a mover and gave me the chance to soak up repertory and wisdom that pushed me to new levels. I had the space to create my own work that I felt invested in, with the resources to bring my projects to fruition, and get feedback if I wanted it. I had the flexibility to create my own study plans within Dance — including an Independent Study in Choreography, a hybrid Dance and Cognitive Science major, and a semester abroad studying dance techniques in Israel. I also found a warm community of dancers, supportive faculty, gorgeous studios to work in, and a student body that had an appetite for dance. I’m so grateful for my time dancing at Vassar!
Alaina Wilson ’16
While a student at Vassar, I found not only technical rigor and rich performance opportunities within the Dance Department, but a generous environment that sustained my passion for the art form and grew my creativity. My time dancing at Vassar launched me into a multifaceted career within the arts. Since graduation, I have continued to feel the support of the department behind me as I have progressed in the dance field.
Mike Graceffa ’14
The dance department was my support system during my time at Vassar. Not only did it grace me with incredible training and knowledge of dance, but it gave me the confidence, work ethic, and love to pursue my dreams of dancing professionally on Broadway and television. I will always be grateful!