Profiles of Current Majors

The Emory Dance Program currently has 23 majors and 19 minors (as of September 2015). Read about a few of our majors below!

Jessica Bertram, ‘17

Majors: Anthropology & Human Biology, Dance & Movement Studies

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama

Emory Activities: EDC, Stipe Society, Persuasion Dance Team, AHANA Dance

Favorite Dance Classes: Jazz III, Movement Improvisation, Modern IV, Choreography I

Plans After Graduation: After graduation, I plan to take a year off to pursue dance and choreographing in either concert or commercial dance. Then I hope to go to graduate school for Cultural Anthropology and focus my studies on the ritualistic dances and traditions of African culture, with the ultimate goal of being a professor and possibly having my own company that infuses African and contemporary movement.

Why I Love Dance: I love dance because it allows me to be everything that I didn’t think was possible for myself. I believe that, more than any art form, dance has the power to change things. And it’s incredible to be a part of such a beautiful and diverse dance community at Emory. It has given me a home away from home and I’m so thankful for this family.


Talia Gergely, '17

Majors: Biology Pre-Med, Dance & Movement Studies

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Emory Activities: EDC, AHANA Dance, Emory Student Ambassadors, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, "What's in a Doctor's Bag" Club

Favorite Dance Classes: Modern III, Ballet II, Improvisation, Applied Yoga, Choreography I

Plans After Graduation: After graduation I plan to take a year off to explore my passions, keep dancing, and apply to medical school, and then go on to become a pediatrician!

Why I love Emory Dance: The dance department at Emory is so supportive and loving, fostering a community of care and enthusiasm for growth and progress. The faculty is always available and eager to help, and the dancers show unconditional love and support for their peers. This dance program also understands that students come to Emory for academics as well as for dance, so there is a really great amount of balance between the two, and understanding/support from faculty about academic pursuits. I felt so safe and welcomed the moment I stepped into my first dance class at Emory and am so happy to be a part of this fantastic program!

Julianna Joss, '17

Majors: Political Science, Dance & Movement Studies

Hometown: Anaheim, California

Emory Activities: EDC, Emory Scholars Program, Emory Tour Guides, Freedom at Emory, Residence Life, Center for the Study of Law, Politics, and Economics, Vision in Action, Volunteer Emory, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Favorite Dance Classes: Modern III, Teaching Assistant for Ballet I

Plans After Graduation: After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school for public policy or governmental affairs. While I am not completely sure of my exact career path, I want to work in an environment where my purpose is to serve others.

Why I love Emory Dance: Anytime I am asked to reflect on what my most transformative moments at Emory are, the experiences I have had with the Dance Program come to mind immediately. I think about the wise words of my Emory Dance Company guest artists, I think about the sense of accomplishment from balancing both academics and dance, I think about creating a piece outside the Schwartz Center for a Choreography I movement study, among so many other experiences. The Dance Program is challenging, but equally fulfilling and fostered in the most nurturing environment on Emory’s campus. It has taught me to think critically and most importantly, think for myself. It has given me confidence, an enduring creative outlet, and a safe haven. The Dance Program has catalyzed my holistic development – intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and of course, physical, which makes it the most enriching field of study imaginable. I know that what I have learned from my dance major will carry with me no matter where life takes me and has encouraged me to be the best version of myself.

Katie Messina, ‘18

Majors: Dance & Movement Studies, Linguistics

Hometown: New Hope, Pennsylvania

Emory Activities: Emory Dance Company, AHANA Dance, Tap That,Gamma Phi Beta Sorority,Emory Student Ambassadors, Orientation Leader

Favorite Dance Classes: Movement Improvisation, Modern III, Ballet III, Choreo 1

Plans After Graduation: I am not exactly sure what I want to do after graduation since I have some time before I have to figure it out!Ideally, I would love to be able to dance professionally for a few years, even in a moderncompany that worked internationally. I'm also looking at going into pediatricspeech pathologyand would love to combine that with movement therapy and see where it takes me.

Why I Love Dance: Words cannot truly describe my feelings for why I love dance. Dance is the most freeing form of expression I have found for myself, and makes me feel alive. On top of that, the Emory Dance community is my home and family and is filled with my absolute favorite people.


Maggie Vail, ‘18

Majors: Dance & Movement Studies, Linguistics

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Emory Activities: Emory Dance Company, Persuasion (all female hip-hop crew), Bike-a-thon executive board member, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, Full Radius Dance Company Intern

Favorite Dance Classes: I love ALL of the classes I have taken in the department, but if I had to pick, I'd choose Dance History and Jazz III

Plans After Graduation: After graduation, I'm hoping to perform either in commercial or concert dance, preferably in Atlanta. I'm also interested in teaching and/or working for an arts non-profit organization.

Why I Love Dance: With no doubts, I can say that I decided to apply and attend Emory because of the dance department. I visited my senior year of high school and noticed right off the bat that this program is strong, full of dedicated and loving students and faculty. This program is a place where students can continue their training, learning about the endless possibilities of dance, but can also be involved in their other academic or extracurricular interests. There's always this stigma that dance is not an academic nor athletic field, however, the Emory Dance Department successfully proves that notion wrong. Even after one year at Emory, I am already so grateful to be part of a marvelous program, but also a family.


Laura Briggs, '19

Majors: Dance and Movement Studies, Chemistry

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky

Emory Activities: Emory Dance Company, Emory Scholars Program, Emory Swing Dance Club, Emory Pride, WMRE, Undergraduate research

Favorite Dance Classes: Ballet IV, Dance and Embodied Knowledge, Somatic Practices– Applied Yoga, Movement Improvisation

Plans After Graduation: PhD in biochemistry or master’s degree in science writing

Advice for Prospective Students: The college decision can sometimes feel like the biggest most important choice you will ever make– but it isn’t! You decide how to get the best out of your education no matter where you end up. In addition to considering which school might be “best” for your future career, think about where you feel most at home. I can’t imagine where I’d be if I had picked a different school where I couldn’t continue to dance. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this department and this university.


Jacob Robbins, '19

Majors: BBA– Marketing and Strategic and Management Consulting, Dance and Movement Studies

Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut

Emory Activities: Emory Dance Company, Tour Guide, Office of Undergraduate Admissions Marketing Team, The Pulse, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Orientation Leader

Favorite Dance Classes: Ballet IV, Movement Improvisation, Emory Dance Company

Plans After Graduation: After graduation, I hope to dance in a dance company for a year or two, as well as work for a major film industry helping to market upcoming movies and TV shows . I would also love to travel around the world backpacking.

Advice for Prospective Students: My main advice to prospective students would be to do whatever makes you happy. Keep an open-mind and explore new opportunities thrown your way. I never thought that I would be dancing this much in college, nor did I think I would want to continue even after college. Emory offers such h a nurturing community to be yourself and evolve into whatever you want to be. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and take’s the only way you’ll grow as an individual.