Crystaldawn Bell
Crystaldawn Bell Dance BFA 08 Dancer with Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company

It was such a great feeling to be a greenhorn at CalArts, knowing that I had the faculty behind me—and the whole student body, too, trying to help me understand who I was as an artist. The faculty nurtured the type of dancer that I was, and that I am. I’m 5’10” and very muscular. I like structure and athleticism; I like being out of breath at the end of a piece. I’m lifting people as well as being lifted.

Transitioning from school to professional life was a little bit harder than I thought it would be. Not the road to getting gigs—there are always people who need someone in the space to help generate movement. I transitioned into performing quite easily. But being in class at CalArts from 9 in the morning until, sometimes, 1am. You can’t just stop dancing. I had to pay for classes and find people who could challenge me and help me grow the way the teachers at CalArts did. Should I take both ballet and modern, every day, as I did at CalArts? Those were the issues.