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Pictured is dance alumna Lauren Garson. | Photo provided by Parsons Dance

Meet Lauren Garson

Degree earned: B.F.A. in dance, jazz concentration, 2005
Parsons Dance
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Now living in:
New York, N.Y.
High School:
Mt. Lebanon High School
Pilates, trapeze, water skiing, spending time outdoors and traveling.

Why did you choose to attend Point Park for dance?

I ended up selecting Point Park for dance after a conversation with a professor (from another college) who had recently set a piece on Point Park students. While I was accepted into his program as well, he reminded me that I shouldn't overlook Point Park simply because it was in my own backyard. At the time, I was hesitant to attend. I had completed Point Park's Pre-Professional Dance Program, all of my instructors growing up were Point Park alumni and I felt a desire to go away to school. Yet, deep down I also felt that Point Park was a good match for me. I was also lucky enough to live in the Pittsburgh area where I could attend Point Park dance concerts. I still remember a performance I saw my senior year in high school that blew my mind. I wanted to dance like the dancers I saw on stage.

What was one of your favorite experiences at Point Park?

Although not necessarily pleasant, a story that sticks in my head as (somehow) one of my favorite memories occurred during my last student choreography performance. I had a very bad case of the stomach flu, but I had to dance because the dance was a trio and because it was my last student choreography show. I could barely get up off the floor under the makeup counter in the dressing room. And I didn't, until literally moments before places for that piece. I went on stage and hoped for the best. I don't remember feeling sick while performing. Somehow the adrenaline and the love for what you're doing got me through it. And that, I think, was a glimpse of life for me. A glimpse of how things go and what you can push through and accomplish.

Why would you recommend Point Park's dance program to a prospective student?

Point Park's dance program is thorough. It knows how to train dancers and prepare you for the professional world. That said, you want to make sure that Point Park is a good match for you. Does it prepare you for the type of work that you desire to do?

What advice do you have for today's students?

Take full advantage of every opportunity offered to you and get to know the people around you - other students, teachers, choreographers and random people you meet. Spend time connecting with them. It will open up your world. Maybe not right away, but somewhere down the road. I used to think that was somewhat cliché, but I've found it to be very true. The more channels you open up for yourself, the more possibilities you cultivate for the future.

Also, seek out opportunities for yourself. Everyone has a different path. Listen to that little voice in your head, that little idea. It probably won't go away. It might be what you were meant to do. Only you can make it a reality.


More About: George Rowland White Performance Center, jazz, Dance Alumni, alumni, pre-professional dance, dance, success story, Conservatory Alumni