USC Kaufman adds six new dance faculty members
The instructors will invite students to learn varied dances, from Bollywood to ballet and beyond
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will begin its second academic year by nearly doubling the school’s faculty, adding six new faculty members this fall.
They are Tiffany Bong, a world champion hip-hop dancer; Alison D’Amato, a choreographer and dance researcher; Jennifer McQuiston Lott, a ballet and contemporary dance artist whose works have premiered worldwide; Anindo Marshall, an acclaimed percussionist and African dance teacher; Achinta McDaniel, choreographer and artistic director of the top Bollywood dance company in Los Angeles; and Christian Vincent, a commercial dancer and choreographer whose work has been featured in television shows, movies, concerts and commercials.
The new instructors will expand on the school’s wide-ranging dance expertise by introducing new dance styles and classes, including Bollywood, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, ballet, contemporary, jazz and dance studies. Beyond providing expanded curricular offerings for USC Kaufman’s Bachelor of Fine Arts students, the additional courses will create new opportunities for non-dance majors at USC to take dance classes.
“The new faculty members will not only grow the school’s curriculum, but also help grow the school’s footprint on campus by inviting a greater number of students to experience dance,” said Robert Cutietta, dean of USC Kaufman.
The new dance faculty will begin teaching courses in the fall and will be among the first to do so in the newly built, more than 54,000-square-foot Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center.
The instructors come from professional backgrounds as varied as the courses they will teach within the school’s hybrid dance curriculum.
From Afro-Cuban to Bollywood
USC Kaufman is growing its course offerings this fall to include dance forms from across the globe.
Marshall, a percussionist and African dance teacher, will teach Afro-Cuban dance classes. She is a certified Dunham Technique instructor and a member of the Katherine Dunham Certification Board. An accomplished musician, Marshall teaches percussion from Africa and Latin America, and has studied with some of the world’s finest percussionists. The Kenyan-born instructor will bring her expertise in the dances and music of the African diaspora to her classes for non-dance majors. She holds a BA from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
McDaniel, the pioneering founder and artistic director of Blue 13 Dance Company, a Los Angeles-based contemporary Indian dance theater, will teach Bollywood dance. A prolific choreographer, performer and instructor, McDaniel’s style draws from diverse techniques, including ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop, bhangra, kathak and Bollywood, to create spectacular theatrical dances. Her choreography for film and television has appeared on New Girl, The Amazing Race and programs on MTV, PBS, NBC and WE TV. She has also choreographed commercials for several national advertisers. McDaniel holds a BA from New York University.
From dance theory to practice
New faculty will teach courses that focus on the theoretical and professional aspects of dance.
D’Amato, a Los Angeles-based dance researcher, choreographer and performer, will teach a classroom-based dance studies course. Since 2006, her scholarly and choreographic work has focused on choreographic scoring. D’Amato’s dances and scores have been presented in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, the United Kingdom and Poland. She holds a PhD from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, an MA in European dance theater practice from Trinity Laban Conservatory (UK) and a BA in philosophy from Haverford College.
McQuiston Lott, a dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the Traverse City Dance Company, will teach ballet and contemporary release technique to BFA students. A former member of the New York contemporary ballet company Armitage GONE!, she is also an active choreographer whose works and short dance films have premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, National Sawdust, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Festival Miden, The Dead/Live Festival, The Cleveland Public Theatre and the Thang Dao Dance Festival. She also has collaborated on music videos and performances with musical artists such as Son Lux, DM Stith, The Accidentals and Jonny Rodgers. Lott hold an MFA in dance from the University of California, Irvine.
From concerts to commercial dance
New faculty specialize in bringing social dance forms to wider audiences.
Bong is an international hip-hop dance artist, educator, community leader and entrepreneur with a background in original hip-hop/street and social dance forms. Bong will lead hip-hop classes for non-dance majors. She is the founder and executive director of UniverSOUL Hip Hop, a community-based, cultural education company that brings hip-hop residencies and performances to K-12 schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Bong has also taught at the Music Center, Cornell University, Loyola Marymount University and UCLA. Bong is a founding member of the dance crew The Syrenz, which has performed with artists such as Justin Bieber, Usher and Rihanna.
Vincent, a prolific dancer and choreographer whose work has appeared in numerous feature films, television shows and concerts, will teach jazz dance and tap for non-dance majors. Vincent holds an MFA in dance from UC Irvine.