BFA in Dance program presents "Senior Showcase"

Seniors in Dominican’s LINES Ballet BFA in Dance program were featured in the “Senior Showcase” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on April 7. It was the annual celebration of the BFA in Dance Class of 2015, including second-year students from the LINES Ballet Training Program.

For BFA students such as Will Couture and Brittany Hernandez, it was the culmination of four years of dance training with the opportunity to learn under the direction of renown choreographer, LINES Ballet founder and artistic director Alonzo King who, on April 2, was named a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award winner by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

CLICK HERE to read Chicago Tribune story on Alonzo King

Since 2006, Dominican and King’s LINES Ballet has offered a unique joint educational and artistic program culminating in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance. Dominican’s LINES Ballet BFA in Dance program is the only one in the United States affiliated with a major ballet company.

“The prestige of Alonzo King LINES Ballet sparked my interest,” says Will, who came to Dominican from his hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota. “The style and quality of movement kept me deeply interested, and the beautiful campus of Dominican sealed the deal. I knew that I wanted to work among the contemporary ballet field and that LINES was the best place to grow into that.”

Brittany, who hails from San Carlos, participated in the LINES Summer Intensive program. She transferred to Dominican following her freshman year at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Dance.

“Although it is a wonderful program, it just was not right for me. I transferred to Dominican because I was attracted to the balance between the beautiful, peaceful Dominican campus and the opportunity to dance in San Francisco,” Brittany says.  “Transferring to the program is probably one of the best big decisions I have ever made.”

The grind of a BFA of Dance student is challenging between taking classes on campus in San Rafael and being bussed to dance training at the LINES Ballet studios in San Francisco. Brittany, who also has a minor in Spanish, has managed well.

“It’s hard. The biggest thing is time management. It’s always a challenge finding time to study, to eat right, to sleep, to take care of your body, to socialize, and to just relax,” she says. “Despite the challenge, it’s all worth it because I know that I am exactly where I need to be.”

When Will enrolled at Dominican, he took a creative writing course in Big History, a growing academic discipline that presents the big bang to modern day, combining cosmology, biology, sociology, geology, and history. Dominican is the only U.S. university to require that all first-year students take a common one-year course sequence in big history.

“I loved Big History because it allows me to explore creativity outside of the studio,” Will says. “I am finding art everywhere around me and it is simply beautiful.”

On April 7 Will and Brittany were joined on Yerba Buena Center for the Arts stage by fellow BFA in Dance seniors  Elizabeth Anne Bertolino, Alex Clauss, Mary Goetz, Liza Kroeschell, Madeline Matuska, Janae Sykes, Yoshie Fujimoto Kateada, Ivy Patterson, and Dalmacio Payomo.

“We all dance, and we all love to dance. This is all the common ground that we need,” Will says. “Taking most of our classes together and spending even our free time together caused my class to become a community and family. I love the feeling we have built and the support we have in each other.”

For more information, contact Wallace Harvey at 415-482-3579 or email wallace.harvey@dominican.edu.