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Q&A with new faculty: Marie Zvosec

Marie Zvosec

Marie Zvosec can’t think of a time when dance wasn’t part of her life.

Her parents enrolled her in classes as a toddler and, “for as long as I can remember,” she said, “dance has always been central.”

Zvosec studied at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Juilliard before earning an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2017. She’s an experienced dancer, choreographer, and teacher versed in contemporary dance, improv, theatre, ballet, and opera.

Now she’s bringing that expertise to Randolph College as a visiting assistant professor of dance. Zvosec is already familiar with life behind the Red Brick Wall; she’s been coming to the College as a visiting artist and adjunct professor since 2014.

This fall, she’s teaching a variety of classes, including dance history, composition, ballet, and modern dance.

What made you want to go into teaching?
“Many dance companies offer outreach into their communities, or have an associated school, so the opportunity to teach under the guidance of more experienced artists came right away. I was already assisting in-studio as a teaching apprentice in my late teens. One of the companies I danced for, Buglisi Dance Theatre, enjoys a very close relationship with Jacques d’Amboise’s National Dance Institute. I was able to study there as part of their Teacher Training, which is exceptional, and inspired me to continue to make teaching a heavier part of my freelance workload.”

You’ve been an adjunct professor here in the past. What attracted you to a more permanent position at Randolph?
“I am very proud to have been part of the Helen McGehee Visiting Artist Program, which brings dance-based teaching artists from all around the globe to Randolph. As a member of the Randolph community since 2014, I have had the opportunity to take a very close look at Randolph’s dance department, its historical import, and the impact it has on graduates in all their various professional pursuits, and I felt excited to meet the challenge when it was presented to me.”

Describe your teaching style. What can students expect in your classes?
“Most of my training has been conservatory style, particularly at the Dancers’ Studio at Oberlin, the North Carolina School of Arts, and Juilliard. So, while I do have high expectations when it comes to students’ rigorous attention to their dance technique, it is because I find that this approach inevitably leads to progress for them, which, even for a beginner, is entirely thrilling. However, my pedagogical training included time at the National Dance Institute, which emphasizes effort and creativity, even above technical achievement, so for each class I plan many realistic challenges, as well as a few things that can be learned with a small number of rehearsals, and at least one thing that will probably take a long time to master. We thrive in dance studies when we pursue attainable goals while simultaneously raising our sights ever higher.”

What are your initial impressions of Randolph and its students?
“Part of the reason students choose Randolph is their investment in their future professional and personal abundance, but students here are also invested in their present, and choose to make the most of their time. They have the capacity to make steadfast commitments on campus and off, but they can also be spontaneous, inquisitive, actively engaged with the world, and thoughtful in matters reaching beyond the Red Brick Wall.”

What do you like to do outside of the classroom as far as hobbies or other activities?
“I frequent dance concerts, musical recitals, and the theatre.”

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