The dance department in the University of Maryland's School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies has taken me out of my comfort zone, taught me about myself, and pushed me to grow. The faculty are not only incredible teachers, but also great people and role models. Being in this artistic community encourages a sense of comfort, trust, motivation, and expression. TDPS has shown me what art is, why it's important, and what I can accomplish if I am truly invested.
—Chelsea Brown, Dance Major
What I appreciate most about TDPS is itsencouragement for students to be innovative. Many of us have written and created our own shows and projects, and even shared them outside of the department. With the guidance and support of our faculty, we are able to address various topics that interest us individually and work as true artists.
—Vaughn Midder, Theatre Major
Prior to coming to UMD, my movement experience was based mostly in hip-hop. Thanks to the faculty and my peers in TDPS, I've expanded my movement vocabulary and become a more well-rounded dancer. The knowledge and availability of the faculty is comforting as I prepare to transition from the studios of the Center, to the stages of the world.
—Cristina Comacho, Dance Major
The creative, professional and personal connections that I made in the Dance department will influence my career and life as a violinist in so many ways. I found and developed my voice as an improvisor in the department. I learned the beginnings of how to move and how to make music for those who are moving. The faculty in the department really believed in me and cared about me and gave me so many opportunities. I got my first taste of professional collaboration with Sharon Mansur and Nick Bryson in their piece INSERT[ ]HERE at UMD and also at Dance Place in the summer of 2014. I also got to collaborate and learn from Bob Novak about the ins and outs of dance class accompanying. Most importantly, in a music world of competition, reproduction and "standard paths" through my time in the Dance department I found a way to truly be excited, inspired, confident and fulfilled by music in a way that gives me hope and energy in those times of doubt as an artist.
—Alexa Cantalupo, Music Major, Class of 2015