By Jasmine Benjamin, arts intern, senior, sociology major
Get to know the incredible arts students around campus! This spotlight features Maya McCall (pronouns: they/them), dancer, choreographer and performer. Catch their most recent work as assistant choreographer for University Theatre’s Urinetown, The Musical which runs Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 23-26.
These arts programs have given me the authority to take risks and take leadership positions within the arts community. Without this arts community with me these past years, I wouldn’t have experienced or lived my college experience to its fullest potential as I have.Maya McCall
What year are you, what are you studying and which of the NC State arts programs are you affiliated with?
I’m a sophomore majoring in applied education studies: learning and design technology in the College of Education. I’m involved with University Theatre and Panoramic Dance Project aka PDP.
How long have you been affiliated with theatre and dance?
I’ve been in the University Theatre program for a year and a half, and this is my second semester with PDP.
What made you interested in getting involved with the arts?
The arts have always been a part of my life and I saw going to college as an opportunity to venture out and try out new arts programs. The communities I’ve experienced in both the theatre and dance environment have been so amazing and really draw you in to be a part of them.
How has being a part of dance and theatre impacted your college experience?
It’s given so much community and space to grow my passion for the arts. These arts programs have given me the authority to take risks and take leadership positions within the arts community. Without this arts community with me these past years, I wouldn’t have experienced or lived my college experience to its fullest potential as I have.
What had been the most meaningful aspect, project, or moment you have experienced with the affiliated program(s)?
Being in theatre I’ve been working on taking advantage of and growing my skills. My proudest moment in the program was being able to perform in a lead role and be the assistant choreographer for Spongebob the Musical last year and be the assistant choreographer for Urinetown currently. I hope to continue to choreograph for University Theatre in the future. With PDP, I came in as a self-taught dancer and being able to be a part of a company for the first time is such an honor. I’ve learned new dance styles and I’ve grown my own dance skills in the process. Participating in a residency with CONTRA-TIEMPO was a really important moment for me. I learned that I am a good dancer even though I have less training and I have my own style that communicates my passion for dance. I couldn’t be more thankful for the dance opportunities I’ve been awarded.
What advice would you give to incoming students who are interested in getting involved in the arts at NC State?
Just do it! The arts here at NC State welcome anyone and it is really an amazing community to have behind you. It is a safe place to express yourself when in other spaces, it is hard to find. If I didn’t have this program, I wouldn’t be doing the amazing things I’m doing now. It never hurts to try. If you put in the work for something you love, only good can come of it.
Anyone you want to shout out?
I would like to shout-out the whole University Theatre program because they do so much work for every show to be amazing and we love them for it. Also shout-out to my company members and the dance program for giving me a place to freely express myself through dance.