Postcards From Juilliard Alums
I auditioned for the Juilliard Dance Division in the spring of 2008. My interview was with the legendary longtime faculty member Risa Steinberg, who posed the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I replied, “In five years, I will have graduated from Juilliard, and I will be touring the world choreographing, performing, and sharing my love of dance.” That five-year plan lasted me eight incredible years. The first seven were as a founding member of Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Our tours and repertoire were the kind from which dreams are made. From Forsythe to Naharin, Cunningham to Graham, the Palace of Versailles, and the Hollywood Bowl, I lived my very best life. My eighth year in LA was a freelance year working with the TL Collective, Tyra Banks, and I even became a Crossfit coach. Then COVID hit.
After a brief stint teaching for UCLA’s dance division on Zoom, I wondered, what’s next? In fall 2020 I attended UCLA’s Center for Prehospital Care to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I recently celebrated my two-year anniversary with a private ambulance company and received a promotion to LA operations supervisor. I have always loved helping people. My time as a dancer/choreographer/teacher has trained me to adapt to the challenges of this new field and face them with confidence in my skills. Life after Juilliard has shown me that we are never done learning.
Nathan Makolandra (BFA '12, dance)