LMU Dance Student Brianna Brooks Finds Innovative Classes, Close-Knit Community on the Bluff

In honor of National Ballet Day on February 7th, we sat down with Loyola Marymount University dance student Brianna Brooks ’21, to find out more about her LMU Dance program experience, what a typical day for a dance student looks like, and what she hopes to pursue after LMU.

A junior double majoring in dance and psychology, Brooks has been dancing and doing ballet since she was 2 years old.

What made you choose LMU?
I chose LMU because I wanted to experience living on the west coast for a change, since I am originally from New Jersey. LMU was incredibly beautiful and felt like the perfect place to be able to experience all of Los Angeles. I also chose LMU because I wanted to experience the L.A. dance scene and dance industry as opposed to the New York dance experience I am used to.

What do you like about the LMU Dance program or what stood out to you about the program before you started at LMU?
I loved how close the entire faculty and students seemed to be. When I came into this program, everyone was incredibly warm and welcoming, and it felt like one big family. The faculty really cares about the students, and always pushes them to be their best self, inside and outside of class. The LMU Dance program is just one very special close-knit community.

Do you have a favorite class?
My favorite class would have to be my Modern Dance class with dance professor James Gregg. His class always allows me to be super creative and innovative with my movement, while also forcing me outside of my normal boundaries.

What does a typical day of a dance student look like at LMU?
A lot of people don’t know this but dance majors are incredibly busy! A typical Tuesday for me begins with waking up at 7:30 a.m. to head to my academic class in University Hall. From there I speed to my ballet class at Burns Fine Arts Center within 10 minutes to be ready to dance. Usually, I spend my entire day at the dance studios because I have about three dance classes back-to-back on Tuesdays with the tiniest break before heading right back into my final dance class, ending at 6 p.m. Depending on the day, and the amount of dance pieces a student is in, there are also evening rehearsals going on, ranging from two to four hours. On Tuesdays, I head to my dance crew rehearsals at 10 p.m., and officially ending my day at midnight!

What do you hope to do with dance after LMU?
After LMU, I hope to pursue my career as a professional dancer, to be able to work in something I love to do. I don’t think I will ever stop dancing for quite a while after graduation.

What would be your dream role/production?
I hope that I can get the chance to work with a prominent artist and book a world tour with them. I have seen many tour dancers live so many exciting experiences all around the world, while also being able to dance in amazing spaces. I would love to experience that!

What’s something interesting about ballet that most people might not know?
The birth of classical ballet comes from King Louis XIV of France. He was an avid enthusiast of court ballet and loved dance so much that his influence led to the development of classical ballet. He also founded the world’s oldest ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet!

Proudest moment so far in your dance career?
I was able to dance in a music video a little while ago, so I think that was pretty cool!

What do you like to do when you’re not dancing?
When I am not dancing, I really like to create interesting film projects and videos with other dancers, because I love working in film production. It is so fun seeing dance from behind the camera!


This article was reprinted with permission. The original article was printed here.