Postcards From Juilliard Alums
I began college in the middle of the financial crisis. Focused on dancing, I didn’t realize how much the recession that would ultimately affect my reality. I started out freelancing in New York City, Boston, and Montreal wearing many different hats. I realize now that most importantly, I was deepening the relationships I had formed at Juilliard. Some of the faculty members when I was there—including Alexandra Wells, Ed Bilous, and JoAnna Mendl Shaw—continue to be huge parts of my life and career.
In 2015, I moved overseas to join a contemporary dance company. I thought that working in Europe meant I had finally “made it” but I stayed only for a season, disillusioned and hungry for change. Craving a more ethical and robust way to engage with the field, I decided to go to graduate school for choreography and interdisciplinary producing in Barcelona. I also completed Harvard Business School’s Online Credential of Readiness (CORe) program to arm myself with a wider set of skills for advocacy and financial literacy.
Then I moved to Boston, where I now identify as a choreographer, performer, educator, administrator, and organizer; I’m teaching at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Salem State University, entering my seventh year on the administrative staff at Springboard Danse Montréal, and co-leading a new advocacy group for dance artists in Boston. This season I’m one of the resident choreographers at the Boston Center for the Arts, where I’m continuing a collaboration with engineer Benjamin Linder. I’m grateful that Juilliard prepared me for this evolving expression of community, purpose, and poetics.
Jenna Pollack (BFA ’13, dance)