Lillie Yokom graduated from the Dance Department and will continue her dance training at SUNY Purchase in the fall. Her choreography, “A Saturday on Timber Lane”, was chosen to be performed this year at the Dance Department’s Mix at Six event at the Harris Theater. She was also this year's director of the annual student-run AIDS Benefit.
“My favorite performance was this year’s Mix at Six. I just really connected with the work. Brian Brooks’ [Harris Theater Choreographer in Residence] piece with the Music Department partnership was great. I wish we did that more often. And since my piece was chosen to be performed, it was really a big moment for me.”
Lillie also reflected on what has made The Academy so special to her.
“Besides the dance education, which has been top notch, it’s the people. You have so many people who work in other art forms that can inspire you, and in turn inspire your own art.”
Lillie had advice for incoming freshman and insight into the Academy education for those who don’t go here.
“When I was a freshman I went to some shows from other departments, but not enough. This year, I pretty much went to every show. We have this beautiful, creative place and you should take advantage of it. People say: “Come to my show — it’s just upstairs!”. Take the time to talk about your art with others and take advantage of those conversations. Your teachers can only take you so far. Be driven and inspired to excel. And students at other schools think we just dance around all day! But we have academics, and they are difficult! First of all, making art — good art — requires a lot of intelligence. But we are learning everything else as well, and not just memorizing facts.”
“I remember working with Stephanie Martinez [choreographer] as a sophomore. That is when I really knew 'this is for me'. Her piece was a little experimental and I just loved the choreography. Right now I’m looking forward to continuing my dance training at SUNY, but I’m also super excited for new experiences.”
Photos by Thomas Mohr Photography