When Dance Goes Digital

Meet dance major August Singer.

September 22, 2022

Hometown: Bend, Oregon

Thesis adviser: Prof. Carla Mann [dance]

Thesis: “Giving up the Ghost: Selfhood and Otherhood in Technologized Dance”

What it’s about: When technology is incorporated into dance performance, how does it change an audience’s perception of the dancers’ identities?

What it’s really about: Dancing while being transgender and online.

In high school: I was so excited to move on to college and discover communities that feel and think like me.

Influential classes: Prof. Victoria Fortuna’s Dance, Gender, and Sexuality class changed the way I think about my own identity, how I move through space, and how dance acts as a cultural signifier and cultural creator. Prof. Carla Mann’s Dance Improvisation taught me to think with my entire body and to understand how we learn by moving.

Influential book:  Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the most gorgeously written books I’ve ever read.

Concept that blew my mind: The popularity, specific shape, and design of mass-produced dinnerware used in the United States is directly correlated with the rise of the American middle class, the post-WWII economic boom, and the assimilation of European immigrants into the myth of the American “melting pot.”

Cool stuff: Ran KRRC during a pandemic and hosted a radio talk show, worked at OMSI and the Q Center, threw several balls, fell in love with ceramics, choreographed and directed a thesis production. 

How Reed changed me: The privilege of existing among Reedies taught me so much about the kind of person I want to be and the ways I can grow to get there. The Reed dance faculty showed me how movement and embodiment is a form of knowledge that I can use to create spaces for myself in the dance world.

Help along the way: Reed would not have been possible for me without financial aid.

What’s next: Earning my PhD in performance studies so I can teach and conduct research about gender, identity, and dance.