Alicia Graf Mack ’03 will soon return to New York City from Houston to lead the Juilliard Dance Division, whose programs are widely regarded as the best in the field.
In addition to performing with Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Theater for the majority of her career, Graf Mack has also taken the stage alongside stars like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys. Her work has been widely applauded; near the beginning of her time at Ailey, one New York Times reviewer called her “one of the finest dancers I have seen this year.”
When an injury required her to step back from dancing, Graf Mack attended the School of General Studies, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history. She told the Columbia Daily Spectator in 2014 that this changed her life.
“It really allowed me to figure out who I was,” she said. “Once I stepped back into the dance world, I felt like I had experience to draw upon, and I think that enhanced my dancing tenfold.”
Most recently, she has worked as a dance instructor at the University of Houston and as an assistant professor of dance at Webster University in St. Louis. At Juilliard, Graf Mack hopes to be able to pass on knowledge from her own college experience to her student dancers.
“I think, today, dancers must be equipped for an ever-changing landscape,” she recently told Dance Magazine. “My charge at Juilliard is not only to make sure that the dancers are physically capable, but that they are thought leaders and they are provoking thinkers and they are citizens of the world.”
Graf Mack, who in a Juilliard press release said she was “beyond thrilled” for her new role, will begin in July.
In 2008, Graf Mack was awarded the Columbia Medal of Excellence and was the keynote speaker at GS Class Day.
Juilliard’s New Dance Director Comes From Ailey and Ballet (New York Times)
Juilliard Names Alicia Graf Mack Director of the Juilliard Dance Division (The Juilliard School)