Dawn Stoppiello joins USC Kaufman faculty

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Assistant ProfessorThe USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance recently announced a new addition to its faculty. With both a BFA and MFA in dance, plus years of experience in the field, Dawn Stoppiello will join the school’s faculty as Assistant Professor of Practice in Dance and New Media.


Stoppiello is especially well known for co-founding Troika Ranch, an arts organization creating hybrid works based on the body’s relationship to technology. Her work at Troika Ranch combines her passion for media as well as somatic practices to explore dance and its relationship to the digital era.


When USC Kaufman interviewed Stoppiello and asked her how she would describe her teaching style, she said “casual but rigorous, playful but serious.”


Stoppiello explained, “I am hands-on, humorous and have high expectations! Like dance, working with technology requires that you get ‘in it’ to really understand it. I believe in playing, misusing things, making mistakes to make new discoveries. I also try to empower the student to recognize what they already know about composition in dancing and dance making, and apply that to using computers and technology. I guide my student to master their tools and compose from their heart, and I also learn from my students.”


Stoppiello has engaged in various somatic practices throughout her career so she’ll bring a wealth of information on those to USC Kaufman. She’s studied and practiced Yoga, Pilates, Release Technique, Body Mind Centering, Feldenkrais, Bartenieff and Alexander Technique.


Her new faculty position will bring her back to L.A. after 20 years of being away in NYC and elsewhere. She’s excited for that and to impart on each student “a personal sense of artistry along with language and confidence to defend it.”


She said, “I want to contribute my perspective on what it has been like to be a working artist in hopes that my stories and experiences will inspire the students to speak up and take risks.”


For further information on USC Kaufman and its elite faculty, visit www.kaufman.usc.edu.


Photo: Dawn Stoppiello. Photo courtesy of USC Kaufman.