Conservatory of Performing Arts

Alumna Taylor Goska Discovered Dual Passions for Dance and Psychology at Point Park

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pictured is Taylor Goska, 2015 dance and psychology alumna. Goska works for Jewish Community Services and Bel Air Dance Academy. | Photo by Sarah Koch

Meet Taylor Goska

Job titles: Dance Teacher and Job Coach
Employers: Bel Air Dance Academy, Supernova Dance Company and Jewish Community Services of Greater Baltimore
Degrees earned: Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology 
Graduated: May 2015
College activities: Work-study student, American Red Cross and YWCA
Scholarship from Point Park: Artistic
Hometown and current residence: Baltimore, Md.
High school: Maryvale Preparatory School 

"I had some great professors in both psychology and dance who were truly passionate about what they were teaching me."

-- Taylor Goska


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Tell us about your various work since graduating from Point Park.

Since graduating from Point Park in May 2015, I have performed with modern dance companies in the Baltimore area including the Deep Vision Dance Company and The Collective. I have also taught at many dance schools in the Baltimore area and recently worked with the Special Olympics Dance Team.

In January, I moved to Rome, Italy, since I received a scholarship to study with the VIVO Ballet Company in the VIVO Nest Dance Program, directed by Enzo Celli. I performed with the company at the Teatro Golden in Rome.

Also, I recently had a psychology article titled "A Phenomenology Account of Grief and Loss," published in The Alpha Chi Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship (Aletheia). I completed this research and article at Point Park under the direction of Dr. Robert McInerney.

Currently, I am teaching dance in the Baltimore area at Bel Air Dance Academy and Supernova Dance Company and also working with individuals, including those with disabilities, as a job coach at Jewish Community Services

How have your dance and psychology classes prepared you?

The well-rounded, rigorous dance training I received at Point Park gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to instruct students with confidence. Through my dance classes, I was also able to enhance my creative skills, which I use in all positions I hold.

Many of my psychology classes gave me a better understanding of the development of the brain, which I use to help me create lesson plans for my dance students of all ages and abilities. 

Through my psychology course work, I became more aware of the experiences and emotions of others, which I believe has instilled in me a broader, more understanding perspective and compassionate approach to working with clients at Jewish Community Services as well as my dance students. I also gained a better understanding of mental illness, disabilities, societal influences, different cultural perspectives and counseling practices that I use in my social service work.

Why did you decide to double major in dance and psychology?

I came to Point Park as a dance major and was very impressed with the program. I have been dancing since I was three years old and always knew it was something I wanted to pursue. During my junior year, I injured my shoulder and had to take the entire year off from dancing so I decided to also pursue a degree in psychology.

I always knew I wanted to help people in the community and one day in the future possibly become a psychologist or even a dance therapist. I knew that a degree in psychology could help me to do so. Also, I felt that an education in psychology could help me in any position in my life where I am working with people whether it be teaching dance, working in a company or in social services.

What are your favorite Point Park memories?

I have many great memories of my four years at Point Park. I enjoyed performing in dance shows and have great memories of the classes I took at Point Park. I really value all the friendships I made with my fellow students throughout the years. Also, I had some great professors in both psychology and dance who were truly passionate about what they were teaching me.

As a professional dancer and a psychology researcher, what advice do you have for our students?

My advice is to research and take advantage of all the different things Point Park and Pittsburgh has to offer. Whether it be work-study positions in the city or classes, ask questions and find different ways you can broaden your education, skill set and perspective so that it may eventually help you in the industry of your choice. Do what you are passionate about, push yourself and fully go for it. Enjoy these few years and take every opportunity because it will go by fast!

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