What’s in your Backpack?

“A headset,” said Alex Olsen, a May 2018 graduate with a degree in dance and a minor in psychology. “My passion is producing dance. I like to say that I ‘make dance happen’ and a headset represents what I do well because it keeps me connected to everyone.”

Olsen originally wanted to be a dance therapist and was a double major — but after working on her first dance showcase — she was hooked.

“I love so much about KU, but what’s been the best are the opportunities I’ve been given,” she said. “Many dance programs wouldn’t allow me to create my own shows.”

In March, Olsen produced Boundless, a dance showcase inspired by the women’s movement. She is passionate about creating shows that make a strong statement and impact the community. 

None of this would have been possible without scholarships. Olsen said the support has inspired her to work even harder in school and also allowed her to intern with the American Dance Festival. That experience taught her how to work with lighting designers and choreographers, how to set a stage and everything else needed to run a show.

This fall, Olsen is pursuing a master’s in creative leadership in the arts at Northwestern University. She plans to become a dance company manager and focus on creating progressive, accessible performances. 

“I just hope donors know how much they help,” she said. “They give money to students who want to make a difference in the world, and that’s such a generous and powerful thing to do.” 

VALERIE GIELER