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

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