Alumni Spotlight: Michael Crotty

03 July 2018 Published in News and Announcements

We spoke with MFA Modern Dance Alum, Michael Crotty about his experience at the U and life after graduation.

When did you graduate from the U?
The Spring of 2017

Which Program were you in?
MFA in Modern Dance

What have you done since graduation?
Since Graduation, I have been appointed a tenure-track faculty position at Southern Utah University.  Additionally, I am the Dance Education Program Director.  I continue to develop and present my choreographic and pedagogic research. I’ve been focusing on doing good outside of my respective discipline.

What are you up to now?
This Summer, I will be marrying School of Dance alumni, Nicholas Daulton. I continue to fall down various rabbit holes that revolve around Dance, Baking, and doing my best to contribute to this world. Dance and work can consume us. I feel it is imperative to sustain connections beyond our field. It's a big and complex world outside of Academia.  We should all remember this.  

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at the School of Dance?
No one owes you anything. Nothing is a given if you are not willing to dig your feet into the grit and do what a School is designed to do. So much is available to you in The School of Dance if you are willing to work for it.  Surround yourself with peers that are committed to transcendence of those things they perceive may hold them back.

I feel blessed to have surrounded myself with provocative, challenging, and inspiring individuals who valued determinism. It is crucial to talk with, get to know, and dialogue with people that may seem fundamentally different than you. Surrounding yourself with only like-minded people is dangerous. My closest friends from School are those who challenged me.  

 What do you wish you had known as a student?
I learned quickly that the Program is a mecca for opportunities. Having had some time between Undergrad and Graduate degrees, it was not lost on me that the resources available inside The School of Dance were exceptional. As well, I entered the program desiring a more refined skill set that would leave me a competitive candidate within the University job market. Some advice I would like to share with current and/or future Undergrad and Graduate students is this: it is easy to fabricate elaborate stories as to how/why you were not given what you feel you are owed. This life is work. It is hard, dirty, heavenly work. Your feelings may be hurt, your ego may get bruised, and people will disagree with you. This is the joy of being a human being. You are alive. Dance is hard. It is challenging. It hurts, delights, and disrupts people. You are not owed success by attendance alone. Be willing to do the work. As well, your teachers are not oppressors.....

Get out of your own way and take advantage of these opportunities NOW. Your life is happening... in this moment. The program is designed to enable your success.... but you have to see it. Avoid things that prohibit this. As well, realize that disparities may be real or your own elaborate fabrication. I can attribute my happiness to the ability to remain committed to my education. 

Your teachers are not going to offer you success on a plate. You have to do the work. Blaming others will rarely lead you where you want to go.     

How did your time at the U support your career?
I was mentored and supported through the development and refinement of my pedagogic voice. As well, many faculty enabled me to direct my choreographic research in a way that made perfect sense to me. I did not feel pressure to steer my ideas in any one direction. Instead, I was enabled to cultivate my own way. I have a deep appreciation for the Faculty and Staff in the School of Dance.