Katlyn Baskin Waldo ’06 still vividly and fondly remembers walking across the stage in Smith Hall Theatre to receive her diploma 12 years ago. She returned for the first time this spring to serve as a visiting artist in dance—and fell in love all over again.
“The beauty of the campus and the front lawn and all the historic buildings—it just strikes me every time I see it,” Waldo said. “I had forgotten, but to experience it again was a little more visceral than the memories in my head.”
Randolph invited Waldo to serve as a visiting artist in dance this semester. The one-week program allowed her to teach modern dance to beginning, intermediate, and advanced level students.
Waldo lives in New York City, where she moved immediately after graduation, and is a professional dancer and rehearsal assistant for the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. In her seven years with the organization, one of the things she enjoys the most is its focus on its humanitarian efforts and educational outreach.
“The educational aspect has so many highlights for me, like being able to witness when young kids just kind of get it, or they’re able to do something they never thought they could do,” Waldo said. “Something even more amazing is just watching them connect to each other without words—fourth and fifth graders—partnering with each other, working together, and just learning how to do things by communicating with their bodies. Seeing them learn that sense of trust and strength is just really cool and rewarding for me.”
She sensed that same feeling of interconnectedness and enthusiasm for the art of dance while working with Randolph students after the annual dance concert this spring.
“It was the last week of classes, and they were all tired, but they gave me everything they had, and I loved that,” Waldo said.
Waldo’s homecoming was also a chance for her to support her sister, Shannon Baskin ’18. During that same week, Shannon, a theatre and music major, performed in the College’s theatre production, Little Shop of Horrors, as well as her final music department recital.
A Randolph education is now a tradition for the Baskin family. Their eldest sister, Jessica Baskin Newport ’05, influenced both Katlyn and Shannon to attend. All three were members of the a capella group, Songshine, and they all majored in the creative arts.
“Because of them, I grew up seeing things like Pumpkin Parade and the decorations and the robes and hats, and that’s what I really fell in love with,” Shannon said. “When it came time to pick a college, I only applied here because I already knew it’s where I wanted to go.”
Waldo loved reconnecting with all of the things she loved as a college student during her visit this semester. But she also enjoyed seeing some of the new additions as well.
“I know we’ve gone through a lot of change in the last decade or so, but it seems like a positive place,” she said. “I enjoyed walking around and exploring all of the changes like the Student Center and library. It’s very different since my time here, but it’s also very much the same.”