ArtistCorps Alumni Stories: Brandon Woods

Brandon Woods served in ArtistCorps in 2015-2016 while pursuing his bachelor's degree in dance. His art has taken him around the world, and now to New York City. Read our interview with him below.

What made you decide to serve in ArtistCorps?

Like all artists, I’m constantly looking to test out opportunities to find and refine my artistic voice. I didn’t anticipate how rewarding this opportunity would be. UNCSA was the pivot point of my life, first with completing my high school education, next with my college experience, then the unique opportunity to serve with ArtistCorps.

Tell us about a moment from your service that really stands out to you.

There are several moments that are memorable from my ArtistCorps service, but the first thing that comes to mind is my relationship with Parkland High School. Ms. Ruprecht (Parkland’s lead dance teacher at the time) and I developed a phenomenal relationship and a close bond. She helped mold my perspective on education and the differences in the demographics in which we’re serving. She made my dance expertise valuable in the space while simultaneously guiding my pedagogical skills within the framework of ArtistCorps.

How did that moment shape your perception of service?

Those moments helped solidify what my personal goals were as an artist. It also let me see the deeper connections in instruction, that giving must be your first priority and honest intention.

What was your biggest takeaway from serving in ArtistCorps?

I took away a network and support system. The nurturing and care given by Rebecca Nussbaum, Judy Ruprecht, and Ashley Smith will never be forgotten. I am now confident in my instruction philosophy. Having given much time and thought to the students, I feel a part of a bigger picture. On top of that, I am remembered and respected in a number of communities — Diggs, Wiley, Positive Image Performing Arts — to name a few.

How has ArtistCorps influenced your life and work since you left service?

The experience I gained through ArtistCorps has given me the ability to show versatility in my CV and genuine references from people who support my endeavors. I was offered a number of opportunities from schools in NC to NYC Charter Schools. Because of service, I also had a life-changing opportunity to spend a year as a Lincoln Center Fellow which moved me to NYC where I also found other amazing opportunities.

What are you up to now?

I’m living my best life in NYC! I just finished a contract dancing on the Norwegian Escape. I am collaborating with other artists between NC and NYC and participating in some film projects.

What’s next for you?

Who knows! The sky is the limit. I am open-minded to the direction of my career. I’m still training and pursuing my dream dance company, Limon Dance Company, while working on exercising other potential talents.

June 28, 2019