BFA in Dance student inspired by opportunities, open-mindedness

As the senior class in the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program prepared for its final performances April 27-28 in Angelico Concert Hall, Erin McKay ’18 was reflecting on her decision to attend Dominican University of California.

While a senior at Santa Rosa High School, Erin had been accepted into several BFA dance programs. Before making her final college selection, she attended the LINES Ballet BFA’s annual Senior Showcase at Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco.

“The performance was breathtaking. I saw a fusion of ballet and contemporary dance that truly intrigued me,” Erin said. “The showcase displayed a beautiful blend of styles. I also noticed that the seniors were valued and highlighted for their individuality, and I was drawn to that.”

Erin -- along with fellow seniors Bri Wilson, Kylee Sherbert, Tori Mazzacone, Alyssa Milligan, Emily McKinney, Aislinn Evans, Rachel Geller, Natalya Shoaf, Anna Olmstead, and Charlotte Carmichael – were featured in their final Spring Showcase. Choreographer Gregory Dawson created a new work – “Seeds Sown” – to showcase the talent, artistry, and strength of these 11 women.

“I was excited to perform my solo and dance with my ladies for the last time,” Erin said.

It was the culmination of a four-year journey for Erin, who benefited from the flexibility and support she received in the School of Liberal Arts and Education. She entered Dominican as an Honors student and became a student ambassador for Admissions, a delegate for College Debate 2016, a member of Young Life, and a resident advisor for the past three years.  She added Communications as a minor, which improved her social media and marketing skills, inspired her to attend GenHERation Discovery Days, and influenced her to pursue digital strategist positions with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and dawsondancesf.

"Communication encompasses my passions. The minor offered me the opportunity to learn skills and develop interests that could supplement my dance career,” Erin said. “Students are not limited to careers in their majors or fields of study. That is one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from my education. Take advantage of opportunities and dabble in your interests. College is a time to explore and help students develop into critical, creative thinkers.”

Erin also has started auditioning for dance positions, ranging from cruise ships to contemporary ballet companies.

“I am ready for the next step and excited to go out into the world and find my niche,” Erin said. “The LINES Ballet BFA Program stresses the importance of uniqueness. I have learned that my ideas, experiences, and quirks can enrich a creative process. Conviction in my faith and individuality keeps me going and makes me stand out both in an audition and in my life.”

Erin dances because “movement speaks volumes without making a sound.” Her time at Dominican and in the BFA program helped shape her as an artist, leader, and woman.

“It is a true privilege and blessing to study dance and to have made a home at Dominican University,” she said. “With a heart of gratitude, I stepped on stage for our final performance.”


April 27, 2018