Senior Taking Talent to New York

Layla Wright, Staff Writer

Veteran dancer Makenna Woolf recently committed to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU).

After dancing for 15 years at the California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), she hoped to continue college. Woolf “instantly fell in love with the whole vibe” while in New York for a summer intensive for Alvin Ailey, a dance company.

NYU will offer plenty of “opportunities for performance and also the opportunities I get to choreograph. They really want to give almost every dancer the chance to choreograph a piece; a solo, a duet or whatever they want… I’m really excited for that because it will open my horizons to all of that and really find my voice as an artist and become a better dancer,” said Woolf.

Woolf has her mom to thank for “forcing” her start in dancing at the age of 3.

Woolf has also been inspired by her dance academy. “I think CAPA has shaped me and helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life. Without CAPA, I really wouldn’t have been into dance,” she said. “It’s actually one of the better dance studios here. I know people don’t think so, but when I go off to summer intensives or I see people at auditions, I can pick out the people that are really classically trained, and those who are not typically come from competition studios, and I’m glad CAPA isn’t one of them.”

Along with CAPA, Woolf acknowledged the teachers who  influenced her training and passion for dance. “Lynn Brillhante helped me a lot to get me where I am now. If she didn’t believe in me and put the time and the effort into me I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said. “Rachel Chew also helped my path because she’s my ballet teacher and helped me to create that foundation for all types of dance and she’s just been my mentor.”

Brillhante said she cried when she learned Woolf had been accepted to NYU.

Woolf was a dance captain her senior year. She was in charge of helping new dancers, including freshman Caterina Dunbar. Dunbar said she was welcomed with open arms by Woolf. “Makenna is the best dance captain I could ever ask for in my 1st year of senior ensemble. Being a freshman, I was really nervous about fitting in, but Makenna always calmed my nerves and made me feel welcome. She is extremely talented and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future,” she said.

“My aspirations are a little hazy but I know I really want to be a dancer. I would like to be on broadway or dance in a company like Alvin Ailey or even Complexions or I’d like to be a choreographer,” said Woolf.