Feb 26, 2023
The College Dance Experience
Yasi and Steven explore college dance education at one of the largest performing arts programs in the country, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Specifically, we talk about adapting to a rapidly evolving post-COVID educational environment, the effects of the Michigan State University shooting on students and faculty, integrating Black activism into one's artistic journey, the effects of competition dance on college dance education, and mental health.
Our guests on this exploration are Jillian Hopper, assistant professor of dance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Brooke Taylor, senior dance major at SMTD and founder of Black Scholars in Dance.
For more about University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, go to https://smtd.umich.edu/
For Brooke Taylor's dance reel, go to youtu.be/wUAZJUmmHBQ
For more information on Jillian's Dance Legacy Project at the University of Michigan, go to https://smtd.umich.edu/the-dance-legacy-project/
Brooke's Instagram is @brooke.alexandria.taylor
Jillian's instagram is @hopperjillian
For more about Athletes and the Arts or to find resources, go to http://athletesandthearts.com/
Jillian Hopper: Jillian Hopper is an assistant professor of dance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and is the Artistic Director of The Dance Legacy Project at Michigan alongside creative partner Prof. Christian Matijas-Mecca. She specializes in the dance technique of Doris Humphrey with the aim of preserving the technique for future generations as a Trustee of the Doris Humphrey Foundation, UK (England). Hopper also focuses her physical practice on methods of embodiment for the purpose of increasing empathy and sensitivity in practice and performance. These skills have assisted Hopper as a director of the DLP and within her own choreography. Her latest project Mirror Ritual: a chamber ballet in three tableaus premiered on Feb 2, 2023, at the Power Center for Performing Arts in Ann Arbor, MI, and is a collaboration with composer Griffin Candey. She has taught professionally for Hillsdale College, Eastern Michigan University, Middlesex University (London, UK) The Place (London, UK), and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds, UK). As rehearsal director for U-M, Hopper has had the pleasure of rehearsing guest works by Ohad Naharin, Richard Alston, Lucinda Childs, Urban Bush Women, Alessio Silvestrin, and Shannon Gillen (Vim Vigor) among others.
Hopper received her BA (Hons) choreography from Middlesex University London, UK (2007) and her MFA Dance Performance from the University of Michigan (2012). She is on the board of directors for ConteXture Dance Detroit. In her own work, Hopper explores ritualistic movement concepts with an emphasis on nature’s powerful spirituality. She has performed in works by Doris Humphrey, Peter Sparling, Monica Bill Barnes, Sidra Bell, Danny T. Reid, Tracy Halloran, and many of her own compositions throughout the Midwest and Europe.
Brooke Taylor: Brooke Taylor is a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing Dance and a minor in Education for Empowerment. As a 17 year trained dancer in ballet, modern, tap, and jazz, her passion is the intersection of art and activism. This new found passion has led Taylor in creating work that fo