main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu

SMTD senior passionate about dance

by Rebecca Boelzner04/27/2015

What do you do when you're stranded late at night with a flat tire and 11 professional dancers? Just ask senior Hillary Kooistra.

Kooistra, a student at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, was one of this year's 21st Century Artist Interns. The internship, a collaboration between SMTD and the University Musical Society, matches U-M students with professional performing ensembles that UMS will present the following season. The students complete summer internships with the ensembles and then act as campus ambassadors for the groups when they are in Ann Arbor.

For six weeks last summer Kooistra, 21, worked with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, an iconic post-modern dance company based in New York City.

She accompanied the dancers for two stops of their tour, giving her a taste of fast-paced life in a touring dance company and showing that anything can happen on tour - even a flat tire. For Kooistra, observing the group's rehearsals was "like getting a sneak peek at the man behind the curtain."

Between trips, Kooistra served as on-site coordinator for TBDC's three-week summer dance intensive in New York, assisting the students and teachers as well as participating in the workshops. She said the instruction was valuable to her growth as a performer: "Some of what I learned will surely find its way into my Senior BFA Concert this April."

When she returned to campus in the fall, Kooistra planned a host of events to go with TBDC's Ann Arbor performances in February, including master classes, community workshops, and a post-performance reception for U-M dance students to network with company members.

"I seldom see students who are so committed to and passionate about using their art form to effect change in the world," said Jim Leija, UMS director of education and community engagement, and Kooistra's mentor for the internship.

"Hillary has been a joy to work with around the Trisha Brown Dance Company performances. Her enthusiasm, expertise and vision for community engagement around the medium of dance have enlivened our institutional thinking about community and campus engagement."

This spring, Kooistra, who is from Teaneck, New Jersey, will receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance with a minor in performing arts management.


(This article originally appears in the April 27, 2015 edition of the University Record)

past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Photo by Bennett Kosma
Current Student News
DMA Piano Students Perform with Ann Arbor Symphony more
2018 SMTD Concerto Competition Winners Announcedmore

main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower