College of Visual and Performing Arts Stories

CVPA All-Star Series: Kaitlin Pennington

Kaitlin Pennington

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

Kaitlin Pennington from Roanoke, Virginia, had the opportunity to “dance around” on a bus without any seats in it at age three, which led her to begin taking lessons—with a JMU dance alum nonetheless. When it came time to pick a college, Madison was an obvious choice. “I felt like I already knew the faculty and understood the dance world at JMU.” Pennington then visited campus and “fell head-over-heels in love with the atmosphere,” which radiated kindness and energy, she says. With a goal of attending graduate school for dance therapy one day, Pennington is now a senior dance major with a concentration in pre-occupational therapy.

As a junior, Pennington took Professor Kate Trammell’s Dance in Community class where she taught weekly classes to adults with developmental disabilities at The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham. The work “sparked an interest” in her, so she applied for—and received—a 2017-2018 College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Undergraduate Research Grant. The funds allowed Pennington to obtain additional education and resources to give participants at The Arc her “very best.” Pennington calls her work with Trammell “life-changing,” and as a member of Virginia Rep, will travel to England for an international dance exchange with Winchester University and Blue Apple Theatre, a group that presents theatre, dance and film by performers with learning disabilities—who will visit JMU in April. Also a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Pennington will premiere her piece inspired by the challenges of modern womanhood titled “act like it.” in New Voices in Dance this spring at the Forbes Center.

February 20, 2018

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Back to Top

    Related Articles

  • David Rowen Thumbnail CVPA All-Star Series: David Rowen

    JMU music alum David Rowen (’11) is giving back to the world by sharing his love and talent for music and performing.

  • CVPA All-Stars Thumbnail CVPA All-Stars

    Seniors Kristi Monte and Kaitlin Pennington and alumnus Cameron Ritcher ('17) received scholarships/grants in the arts.

  • Cameron Ritcher Thumbnail CVPA All-Star Series: Cameron Ritcher

    JMU art alum Cameron Ritcher ('17) received the 2016-2017 Dr. Jay D. Kain Scholarship in Art Education.

Read More