By Abigail Beshkin
By 28, Evelyn Kircher had already danced the Argentine Tango on the George Washington Bridge to promote a Julio Iglesias CD and the "Evita" movie. She had managed the headquarters for the largest dance studio franchise in the country, and starred in the national touring companies for "Phantom of the Opera," and "The Wizard of Oz."
She was teaching at Dance Manhattan, a Chelsea dance studio, when one of her students turned out to be a retired Columbia professor. Kircher mentioned how much she missed literature. " I felt like I was too old to go back to school, and he mentioned GS," she recalls.
Kircher graduates magna cum laude from the School of General Studies with a major in English. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and will receive the John Angus Burrell Memorial Prize for an outstanding English major. She'll also receive the Alumni Key for service to the school.
And what service. Kircher is outgoing president of the GS senior class, and senior editor for the GS literary magazine Quarto. She has volunteered as an orientation leader, and throughout her two years at GS, she coached the Columbia Ballroom Dance Team and taught Friday night lessons at the Columbia Ballroom Dance Society. Kircher sees a connection between life as a dancer and life at GS.
"When I first came to GS, I felt like students had a hunger for a stronger community. It's such a myth that GS students don't want a traditional undergraduate experience," says Kircher, who watched tickets for the first GS formal she helped organize, sell out within 24 hours.
It's the same with dance, she says. "I really perceive such a hunger for this skill. So many people want to learn it- they just need someone to facilitate it."