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Pictured is Haley Gillespie. Photo | Tony Moux

Meet Haley Gillespie '22

Job Title & Employer
Development Coordinator, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Dance (modern)
Columbus, Ohio
High School
Upper Arlington High School
Now Living In
Chicago, Ill.
Hobbies & Interests
Classical pilates, reading, spending time with friends, traveling, teaching dance

"Having a degree in dance from Point Park University has helped me earn respect from my colleagues. Graduating from the program says something about the kind of student you are, and the level of excellence you bring."

Haley Gillespie '22

What does your job entail and what have you enjoyed most in this role?

I am in the first few months on the job, and so far, I have enjoyed every second. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is a team like no other. Being surrounded by passionate arts activists has filled my soul. The HSDC community is so rich and inviting. Having the opportunity to meet people who have been touched by Hubbard Street is inspiring.

As the development coordinator, I provide backend support for the development team. I log gifts, assist with our membership program and research opportunities to secure funding and engage our supporters.

How did your college experience prepare you for your career?

My technical abilities improved more than I thought possible during my first two years at Point Park. After a minor injury led to the discovery of a bone defect, I had reconstructive hip surgery the summer between my junior and senior year and I knew I had to pivot.

After taking Entrepreneurship in the Arts, I was encouraged by what a career in the dance world could look like for me. I landed my first internship because I was a dancer. My supervisor was a former dancer and knew the work ethic and problem-solving skills I brought to the table. Later that year, Kiesha Lalama took me under her wing as an intern at the Pittsburgh CLO. The opportunity provided me with critical experience in performing arts administration that gave me the start I needed.

@pointparku Take a look at how Haley Gillespie '22 got career-ready at #PointParkU for her position at @Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as the Development Coordinator. Listen in as she shares what a day in her life looks like! 💃👏 Check out the full story at #PointParkUniversity #PointParkDance #DanceTok ♬ original sound - Point Park Univ.

What was it like being a college student in Downtown Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is a wonderful college town, and a very walkable city. For aspiring artists, it is a smaller, calmer introduction to city life. No matter what mood you are in there is something to do. I spent many weekends attending football games, thrifting in South Side and walking along the river with friends. When you are looking for a quiet spot, Point State Park is the place to go. When you're hungry, Bakersfield, Bebe’s Kitchen, Millie’s and City Works never disappoint.

What advice do you have for high school students considering Point Park University’s dance program?

The people you take class with will be the same people you work with in the future, so the way you treat them matters. Remember that confidence is critical but don’t confuse it with cockiness. Be kind to yourself — you are a person first. Your journey will be different than your classmates and making the most of the experience requires you to embrace those differences. Finally, there are so many ways you can make a difference in the dance world. You can be a performer, a teacher, a choreographer, an administrator, an advocate, a patron and so much more. The dance world needs all of us to thrive and you will find your place.

What makes Point Park’s dance program distinctive?

Having a degree in dance from Point Park University has helped me earn respect from my colleagues. It has been a topic of conversation in every room I have walked into, including at HSDC. Graduating from the program says something about the kind of student you are, and the level of excellence you bring.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My journey at Point Park looked very different than most dance majors, and yet I am incredibly grateful for it. It has led me on a path to make a difference in the dance world every single day. I work for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a company that I believe in. It is truly a gift.

More About: psychology, alumni, success story, Conservatory of Performing Arts, modern, dance, Conservatory Alumni, Dance Alumni