Dance grad joins the ranks of UNCSA-fueled dance company
For most college graduates, graduation can seem like a farewell to a home and community all at once. But for 2018 Contemporary Dance alumna Gabrielle Roulhac, it means moving from one community of Fighting Pickles to another.
She joins Durham-based Gaspard & Dancers this summer to dance with several Contemporary Dance alumni, including 2017 graduates Tareake Dorill Ramos and Garrett Parker, and fellow 2018 grad Gregory Hamilton. We caught up with Roulhac to find out what made her time at UNCSA so special and which experiences will stay with her throughout her life:
Tell us what you'll be doing after graduation. How did you find this opportunity?
After graduation, I will be performing alongside company members of Gaspard & Dancers—many of whom are alumni. I worked with Gaspard Louis before at American Dance Festival and heard through former Student Body President, Tareake Ramos, about an opportunity to perform with G&D this July. If all goes well, I hope to move to New York in the fall to continue my work with the company.
If you could say thank you to one person at UNCSA, who would it be? Why?
There’s never just one person you can say thank you to at UNCSA, but my deepest gratitude and thanks goes to Ramona Richmond (Director of Res-life programs) and Joe Rick (Dean of Student Affairs) for hiring me as one of their work-study students. Not only did I train in my passion for dance while at UNCSA, but I also fell in love with administrative work, learning under them. And for that I am extremely grateful.
The biggest thank you ever to one of the best human beings I know. Being casted in Aszure Barton’s “Happy Little Things” , has been an amazing journey. Thank you for your mentorship, your calming and friendly energy. I can’t wait to work with you in the future 💕💋 Opening Night of Winter Dance **** #senioryear
What's your favorite performance you were a part of at UNCSA? Why?
Hands-down my favorite performance was Aszure Barton’s “Happy Little Things” at my last Winter Dance. In my four years at UNCSA, I had never been asked to vocalize in a main stage show. With that came a new challenge! I wanted to ask Beyoncé, “how do you sing and dance all at the same time and not even break a sweat?” I loved every minute of that work, and audience members would agree it was entertaining for them as much as it was for us.
Tell us something you wish someone had told you when you were a new student at UNCSA.
I wish someone would’ve told me to explore the beauties North Carolina has to offer. I finally made it Hanging Rock the week before graduation and I couldn’t believe it took me this long see how amazing it is being on top of a mountain.
What did you learn from working alongside your peers?
My peers kept me on my toes! We never let someone slip through the cracks because we just aren’t those type of people who do not care about others. I love my M4 class and I can’t thank them enough for the endless laughs, tears and art that we created together.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? Why is it special?
Commencement speaker and alumnus Paul Tazewell said, “Whatever you do, do not resent your differences, instead embrace them and allow them to help you create change.” This quote inspired me and my peers tremendously because the world we live in is frightening at times. As artists, it is our duty to affect the masses and show the world that equality for everyone may not be around the corner, but we can for sure make it our #1 goal.
Whatever you do, do not resent your differences, instead embrace them and allow them to help you create change.
What's an opportunity you had at UNCSA that's different from other universities?
I am 99.9% sure when I say that our university is the only one that has their own Public Offenders Comedy Group. If you haven’t been to “The What” for improv, you haven’t experienced a lot UNCSA just yet!