Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts


Dance Placement Orientation For Incoming Dance Students

Who: All incoming Dance majors, minors and other experienced dancers looking to take dance classes.

What: Orientation for the major and minor - meet your faculty and fellow dance students! Placement session for DANC technique classes (Ballet, Modern, Jazz). PLUS, learn about the various Dance activities happening on campus!

When: Friday, August 25, 10am

Where: Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, Room 409

We look forward to meeting our new Dance students!

Sandra Kaufmann to Receive Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence


This year, Director of Dance Sandra Kaufmann is a recipient of the Edwin T. & Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence. The Sujack Teaching Awards were established in 1994 by Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack in order to take special notice each year of two outstanding teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences.  These awards recognize superb teaching of undergraduate students. Past recipients include Director of Music Anthony Molinaro, among others.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kaufmann. To commemorate the award recipients, there will be a ceremony held on Monday, April 25 at 4 pm in the McCormick Lounge, located in Coffey Hall.

Summer Registration Begins February 15


Interested in taking a dance class this summer? The DFPA is offering the following classes in Dance for the Summer Term:

  • Ballet I (DANC 111)
  • Internship in Dance (DANC 394)
  • Independent Study (DANC 395)
  • Fieldwork in Chicago: Dance (DANC 397)

Registration for summer classes opens Monday, February 15, 2016. For more information about Summer Term, click here.

Healing through dance


Loyola instructor Sarah Cullen Fuller (center) founded the Parkinson’s Project, which uses dance to help people with the disease deal with their symptoms. “By the end of one class, they are often moving with more freedom and with less obstacles and tremors,” Fuller says. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

Every week, Loyola dance instructor Sarah Cullen Fuller helps Chicagoans with Parkinson’s disease deal with their symptoms in a non-conventional way: by teaching them to dance.

Fuller founded the Parkinson’s Project at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to provide dance opportunities for people with the disease, a disorder of the nervous system that progressively impedes movement.

“I felt very much connected to trying to find ways to bring dance to populations that might not otherwise have access to it,” Fuller said. After completing a workshop with the Dance for PD program in New York City, Fuller decided to develop her own program at Hubbard Street.

Hubbard Street now offers three free classes a week as part of the project. The success of the class inspired the creation of the larger Adaptive Dance project, which now includes a program for dancers with autism.

Teaching artists incorporate chairs for dancers who are less mobile than others. Fuller emphasized that the classes are not designed to be physical therapy sessions, but to allow participants to grow as artists.

“It really is a dance class like any other,” Fuller said. “It’s rooted in classical modern and ballet techniques.”

But the classes are far more than dance sessions. Studies have shown that dance programs can alleviate symptoms for Parkinson’s patients, Fuller said, and she sees these positive effects with every class.

“I see it benefiting our dancers, even from a dance lens. Even by the end of one class, they are often moving with more freedom and with less obstacles and tremors,” Fuller said. “While these dancers are dealing with a degenerative disease, the way that they are accumulating information by way of dance technique is kind of astounding.”

The classes have been just as powerful as a way to bring together a community of people with the disease and those who love them, who are encouraged to come and dance as well.

“This is a group of people who celebrate holidays together, mourn the loss of people together, enjoy the birth of people together,” Fuller said. “It is a community that extends way beyond the class itself, which I feel so grateful to be a part of. It’s been such a benefit just to me personally.”

In October, dancers from the Parkinson’s Project joined Loyola students and others for a “community movement session” at the In/Motion film and dance festival. The session was a response to a screening of Capturing Grace, a documentary about the Dance for PD program that served as a model for Hubbard Street.

The Parkinson’s Project dancers also were featured in the Virtual Dance Ensemble, a project headed by Loyola dance instructor Amy Wilkinson and alumna Sarah Prinz. It seeks to “explore and transform the idea of community by bringing individuals from vastly different backgrounds together through the joy of movement,” across digital platforms.

The Pleiades Open Rehearsal


Amidst Loyola’s production of Galileo, the university is holding a surplus of events to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Galileo’s Letter to Christina of Lorraine, Grand-Duchesse of Tuscany.

This includes an opportunity for visitors to see an open rehearsal for The Pleiades, celestial choreography by Director of Dance Sandra Kaufmann. The rehearsals will be held on Friday, November 13 and Friday, November 20, both from 4:30-6:30 pm in Mundelein 409. Open to visitors to see the “behind the scenes” of rehearsal, inspired by Elihu Vedder’s painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Three Fates Gathering in the Stars, this classical work places the fates within the seven-sister constellation.

For more information about the Celebrating Galileo event, click here.

Interview with Sandra Kaufmann

Interview with Sandra Kaufmann

The Loyola Dance Program recently produced its first mainstage concert, which was held in the Kathleen Mullady Memorial Theatre from February 13-16, 2014. Prior to the concert, founding director Sandra Kaufmann offered a peek into the growing program and this performance.

Tell us a bit about Loyola's Dance Program and the concert this spring.

The dance concert is the last piece in a very complex puzzle that we have been assembling since 2004, when we proposed the dance program here at Loyola University in three phases. It really represents the culmination of a seven year journey. The beginning of the journey was, of course, just to get dance on this campus and to secure a space for dance. The second phase was the dance minor, and the third phase is the dance major. Now that we have the dance major in place, which was really significant and took a lot of doing, we will have our inaugural mainstage performance in the spring.

What distinguishes the curriculum at Loyola?

Our program is based in classical ballet, which is very much in line with the Jesuit tradition of learning. Most other dance programs–B.A. programs specifically–do not have this emphasis.

What makes the Mainstage Concert vital to the growth of the Dance Program?

In addition to the curriculum we provide, rehearsal and performance of choreography is an essential component of our students’ artistic training. Organizing a concert has been a major project that requires significant resources, but we are thrilled to see that our students are going to take part in a process where they can work with choreographers and stagers of classical pieces. They are going to be challenged and grow wonderfully as artists because of this opportunity.

The title of the concert is Past, Present, and Future. Can you explain the meaning behind this?

Not only does it inaugurate our program, but it also gives insight into the philosophy of what we are trying to do as a program that is committed to rigorous training in classical techniques. In each concert, we would like to provide our students with a threefold opportunity that represents a past, a present, and a future.

What will the Past, Present, and Future works consist of?

For the past, we will always present a classical ballet piece staged by our ballet master as well as a classical modern work. This year, they will be the “Pas de Six” from “La Vivandiere,” a romantic ballet, and “Grieg Concerto,” a stunning art deco masterpiece choreographed by Doris Humphrey in 1928. Both have rigorous technical requirements and provide context for our students to understand where our art form has come from.

For the present, our current dance faculty members, the people who are mentoring our students right now, will stage works for the concert. I will set a steam punk piece set to an original score by Tom Holmes, who happens to be one of our accompanists here at Loyola. Amy Wilkinson will create a new work, and Sarah Fuller will do a contemporary pointe piece.

Two components represent the future. First, our dance concerts will always feature the finest representation of student choreography presented in our composition showcase. We want to support a young student choreographer. This year we have selected Alicen Schade, who has created a marvelous trio called “Not So Bitter After All,” and we are really looking forward to it. It is both a well-executed and mission-centric piece of choreography, so we thought it would be perfect for our student contribution. Secondly, because we live amidst such a fantastic dance market here in Chicago, we will take the opportunity to commission a new work from a rising star or master choreographer for each dance concert. This year we are bringing in Benjamin Wardell, who will create a piece for our students. He has a fantastic background, and has had a wonderfully successful career in both classical ballet and post-modern dance.

We are eagerly looking forward to showcasing the talent and hard work of our dancers, faculty, and guest artists!

Dance Video

Recently some of our dancers took a trip to the American College Dance Association Festival. Check out this short documentary about their experience! 

LUC Dance Theatre in Vietnam

Watch Cloudburst by Eric Witacre performed by the International Choir and Orchestra of Ho Chi Minh City featuring Loyola University's very own Dance Theatre! Click here to watch the performance.

Dance Minor Orientation on Friday August 28th


Dance Minor Orientation
Friday August 28 at 4:30pm
Mundelein 409

All students currently enrolled or entering the Dance minor should attend this orientation. It will cover coursework, performances, and audition opportunities for the 2015-16 academic year.

LUMA Saturdays

Dance program will be performing at LUMA on Saturdays in September

Dance Faculty News

Sandra Kaufmann, Director of Dance, partnered with Art History professor Paula Wisotzki to propose an interdisciplinary symposium to be held at Loyola in Fall 2016. This conference, titled "Framing Justice: Modernism and Social Advocacy in American Visual Arts and Dance from 1929-1945," features scholars and artists from all over the world with expertise in visual arts, dance and artist as advocate, and received a $25,000 grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Amy Wilkinson founded the IN/Motion Dance Film Festival with Director of Film Studies, Aaron Greer, and Dance Faculty member Sarah Fuller. Now in its second year, IN/Motion featured a Juried Selection performance with submissions from all over the world, a Parkinson's themed workshop and film screening and a collaborative performance with Kirsten Hedegaard of the Music faculty taking place in the Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Hedegaard and Wilkinson will team up again with the IES to present a performance as part of the Annual Conference on Climate Change.  Ms. Wilkinson also continues her work as choreographer-in-residence at LUMA presenting eight performances there responding to their Andy Warhol exhibit as well as performing at the LUMA 10 year anniversary gala.
Sarah Cullen Fuller also participated in the founding of IN/Motion Dance Film Festival with distinct contributions based on social justice. Her work with Hubbard Street Chicago Parkinson's Project brings her nationally into the spotlight of Dance and wellness. Her workshop at Loyola in October was featured as a national site in the American with Disabilities Act 25th anniversary celebration. Most recently Ms. Fuller conducted a workshop on dance and Alzheimer’s at LUMA. She continues to work actively with Hubbard Street Chicago's school and outreach activities.
Deborah Goodman was recently made Rehearsal Director for Chicago's Winifred Haun & DancersThe mission of Winifred Haun & Dancers is to create and produce the dance works of Ms. Haun and other midwest artists and to make those works available to the widest possible audience. The Company presents dances with a strong technical base that reflect the complexity of the human condition, with the intent of informing the viewers perception of him/herself and the world.

Dance Alumni News

Since graduating in May of 2015, Mary has been working with Concert Dance Inc./ CDI under the direction of Venetia Stifler as a company apprentice where she has had the opportunity to perform as a part of the Ruth Page Festival of Dance at Ravinia Park.  In addition, Mary both understudied and performed in Khecari's latest site-specific piece The Cronus Land.  Other projects include Link's Hall's Peep Show series where she danced in a world premiere piece choreographed by Loyola Dance Director Sandra Kaufmann and Core Project's Going Dutch festival where she premiered a piece with fellow Loyola dance alumni Rachel Natale ('14), with whom she has an ongoing creative project.  Mary is a freelance dance instructor with Design Dance and writes for a dance blog for Recycled Barre, a startup non-profit based in Pilsen.  In mid-December, Mary will be premiering a new work as a part of Noumenon Dance Ensemble's New Moves 2015 Choreography Competition at the Mayne Stage in Rogers Park. 

Elizabeth Modde is working and living in Southwest Baltimore as part of the Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry program. She is pursuing her interests in healthcare, collecting patients' stories and improving patient experience on the inpatient floor. Drawing from her Loyola undergraduate experiences looking at dance as an art with therapeutic effect, she teaches dance to adults and children in Mental Health partial hospitalization empowerment programs. Ms. Modde has seen how dance can help children with ADHD focus or children with autism be leaders connecting to others in a group setting. Generally, movement enables them to express emotions that are hard to put into words. Ms. Modde aims her adult class towards helping the group members build rapport amongst each other and getting them to be cognizant of their own bodies. Mental illness can have physical presentations, such as tension in the body. Ms. Modde has also gotten involved in the local arts scene, which is very community oriented. She is a member of Dance and B'more, a small company and collaborative effort between dancers, singers, musicians, and spoken word artists. Their performances revolve around social justice and community inclusion. Dance and B'more also works with local seniors and teaches family dance classes for people who otherwise would not have a chance to dance.
Zoe Lindner attended the Loyola University Chicago dance program from 2012-2014, graduating with a BFA in dance and a minor in psychology in December 2014. Upon graduation, Ms. Lindner attended the winter workshop at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the summer program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2015, she joined Hedwig Dances under the artistic direction of Jan Bartoszek, where she has performed works choreographed by Victor Ramirez, Edson Cabrera, and Jan Bartoszek. She has danced in art galleries and libraries around the city of Chicago, and will be performing at the Athenaeum Theater. In 2016 she will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to perform with Hedwig Dances in a dance and media festival. In addition to her company work, Zoe has also been working as an Exercise Technician at Body Gears Physical Therapy. 
Jacquelyn Pavilon graduated from Loyola University Chicago in spring 2012 with a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.A. in Global and International Studies and Political Science, and a minor in Dance. Upon recruit after graduation, she began immediately working as a Mathematician for WMS Gaming Inc., a casino gaming software development company in Chicago. During that time, she simultaneously danced with Matter Dance Company, Movement Revolution, Subconscious Development Motion Project, Alliance Dance Company and Innervation Dance Cooperative. She also served on the Associate Board of Links Hall and as a volunteer women’s mentor with Refugee One. In 2014 she moved to Rome to work as the International Communications Assistant at the headquarters of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an agency with the goal to accompany, serve and advocate for refugees across 45 countries and all faiths. After one year she took the position of International Communications Coordinator and is currently helping run a campaign called Mercy in Motion specifically commissioned and endorsed by Pope Francis to provide 100,000 additional refugees with education. She plans to pursue PhD program in Economics.
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