Photo curtesy of Abdiel Jacobsen

#DanceCrush: Abdiel Jacobsen

Abdiel Jacobsen is a jack of all trades. A member of the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2011, Jacobsen dances principal Graham roles and performs in works by Nacho Duato, Robert Wilson, Sonya Tayeh and Luca Veggetti, to name a few.



But when he's not dancing with MGDC, he's teaching or competing in Latin ballroom. You might have caught a glimpse of his suave moves in last year's "Pantsuit Power" video, combining everything from salsa to the hustle and partnering with fellow Graham company member Peiju Chien-Pott.


"Both my parents have a strong passion for music and dance," says Jacobsen, "and it was always prevalent in our house." His mother would teach him West African dances while his father, a professional trumpet musician, played jazz music. "Because of this influence, my movement style reflects my experience with rhythm and its flow between music and movement."

After performing a work of his own titled A Walk In Our Heels for the Cape Dance Festival on July 29 and with the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Vail Dance Festival on August 11, he will take the stage of the New York International Salsa Congress on September 1.

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Dancers at work in USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's facilities. Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Meet 5 Recent USC Kaufman Grads Making Waves in the Dance Industry

Since welcoming its first freshman BFA class in 2015, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has made a name for itself. The Los Angeles dance program is known for creating versatile artists in a collaborative, innovative training environment, and its alumni are already making bold professional leaps.

Dance Magazine caught up with five recent grads to see where they've landed and how USC Kaufman and its career services department prepared them for their future in the dance industry.

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July 2021