Megan Mauro ‘21: Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Intensive

Summer 2019

About the Artist

My name is Megan Mauro and I’m from Richmond, Virginia. I am planning to graduate in 2021 with a B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology and a B.A. in Dance. I have danced my entire life and have continued to pursue that passion at Duke by being active in the Dance Department and other student groups. I am president of Duke Dance Department’s Student Advisory Program and a titled leader in other clubs such as Duke Swing Dance Club and, academically, Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science. I have striven to find a balance between academics and dance, and at Duke, I feel as though I have almost found that equilibrium.

About the Project

Throughout the program I was conditioned in a style of dance I connected with far more than anything I have danced in quite some time. For the first time I felt as though I did not need to change any aspect of myself to fit what was needed or what the choreographer called for because I felt comfortable in the movement from day one. It was a physically and mentally challenging program; constant dance, constant exposure to dance and new stimuli, changing teachers, new living situations—all of these accumulated to press on my body and my mind. During these four weeks of intensive training, I grew into myself and discovered a renewed love for this dance. Being surrounded with people from around the globe who were supportive and like-minded re-enforced my positive experience and kept me going when times were trying. Over the course of the program I met many peers and teachers who inspired me with their personalities and skills. I kept a journal over the course in which I jotted down helpful notes or interesting exercises or comments/sayings from instructors that resonated with me—that journal was full by the end of the program.

I have that journal to look through when I want to be reminded of my summer, and I also can use it to remind me of my desire to continue dance in the future. The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company has invited me to return for their five-month Dance Journey, which is an extended period of training and personal growth as a dancer. They have allowed me to wait until after I graduate to attend, though I am still deciding if I wish to accept. This program has shown me that I resonate more with the dance occurring overseas—I feel as though it is more progressive than American dance—and when I pursue a career in dance, I would prefer it be in Europe or Asia. Whether this Dance Journey is the best launching point for me or not I have yet to determine, but without attaining the Benenson Award and attending this summer intensive, I never would have even been granted this outstanding offer.

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