Arielle Israel is definitely jazzed.
The BFA Dance Performance major, who walked across the graduation stage in May, immediately leaped into her career.
Israel became a performing associate with the high-energy, high-impact Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC), “America’s original jazz dance company that captivates audiences worldwide with dynamic performances,” according to its web site.
“[I’m] very blessed” to have this opportunity, Israel says, who is looking forward to daily rehearsals.
But her journey to the windy city actually began last January when she auditioned for the prestigious, 50-year-old company.
Neither the audition nor her success would have been possible without her professors at Towson.
“My professors provided me with a strong foundation in ballet and modern technique and guided me through the audition process and what company auditions I should attend,” Israel says. “They also provided me with the necessary skills to network with other professionals in the field.
“The professors go far beyond their basic duties as teachers – they are mentors to every student and dedicate time and energy so that we can not only succeed as students, but as functioning artists,” she adds.
Dance Performance majors do more than “just twirl around in pointe shoes,” Israel notes. In addition to ballet and modern classes, she fulfilled the 14 required CORE classes, including two scientific movement courses (anatomy and conditioning), as well as an advanced writing seminar, six composition classes, music concepts and stage crew to name just a few — all in preparation for a dance career.
Her hard work and persistence paid off. A few months after her audition, Israel received an offer from the artistic director of GDC.
GDC has three tiers: the Main Company, Performing Associates, and their second company, Giordano Dance Chicago 2. As a performing associate, Israel will rehearse and take daily technique classes with the second company and fill in for Main Company dancers during rehearsals or performances if they become sick or injured.
“Receiving a BFA in dance has molded me into a multi-skilled artist who can not only ‘twirl’ but can understand the anatomy of the entire body, creative movement, write a grant proposal and count and read music,” Israel says.
“I am extremely thankful and excited that I’ll be able to continue receiving technique training on a daily basis as well,” she adds. “Towson University provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime and life-changing experience!”