Written By: Michela Arlia
On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Magner Career Center welcomed Yvonne Curry to the “Career Exploration Session for Media and the Performing Arts,” a virtual event part of the Center’s career exploration series throughout the month of November.
Curry, an international dancer and choreographer, received her B.A. in dance from Brooklyn College in 1980. She also received a certificate in Performing Arts Administration from Fiorello LaGuardia Community College, and an M.A. from New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Performance, Community Organizing, and Aging.
When it came to deciding her career path, Curry said she knew she wanted to be a leader.
“Everyone in the Brooklyn College Dance program wanted to be a dancer, and I knew I didn’t want to be just a dancer,” said Curry. “I wanted to be in charge of whatever it was.”
Curry grew up around the arts. She sang, danced, acted, and played multiple instruments throughout her childhood, but she says that it was not until high school where she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in dance. Taking the advice of her guidance counselor at the time, she auditioned for the Brooklyn College Dance Program, which was then a major in the Physical Education Department.
Now, Curry is a member of SAG-AFTRA, the theatrical union Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and many more institutions, and has traveled Europe for 15 years teaching and choreographing all kinds of styles of dance to actors, dancers, and singers.
Throughout the session, Curry gave advice to students about their craft, urging students to make connections in school through classes and clubs and to stay in contact with those people.
“Any student, whether you are in high school or college, you don’t know who is going to come out of your graduating class, and be a star,” Curry said about her personal experience with Jimmy Smits, a well-known actor and her classmate at Brooklyn College.
Some of Curry’s teaching credits include tap instruction/choreography of the Ballet of Venevision in Venezuela and jazz instruction/choreography at Leona Laviscount’s School of Dance in Milan, Italy. On top of this, Curry is also a master teacher at Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City.
Giving back to her BC community, Curry has served on the faculty of the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the
Performing Arts Dance. According to Curry, she loves to return to campus as much as possible because in her eyes, Brooklyn College kick-started her career.
During the entire session, Curry spoke very highly of Brooklyn College, saying that it is such a strong name to have credited to your education, especially in the world of performing arts.
With the wisdom and experience she has acquired over many years of teaching and dancing, Curry offered advice to all in attendance through her storytelling, which gave students some insight into a day in the life of someone in the performing arts industry.
One of Curry’s final pieces of advice to students was to make sure you go into a career path that you absolutely love and that you could continue forever.
“Look at your career as being something that you can do for as long as you want to do it, not because someone has said ‘Oh, you need to retire now,’” said Curry. “[Be] the best you [that] you can possibly be mentally, physically, and right now…spiritually.”