Commercial dancer Shirlene Quigley has performed with Lizzo, Beyoncé, Rihanna and more. Photo by Jayme Thornton

What's Shirlene Quigley's Love Language? Dance

Dance is my love language. It's the way I spread joy around the world. It's my superpower, the purpose God gave me and one of the main reasons I smile.

I'm full of feelings, although some people may not know it because I am quite reserved, private and almost shy at times. Dance is the way I express whatever I'm feeling, or let go of any emotions I may not want to feel. It's the one thing that removes any inhibitions that make me too meek to express myself.


Besides day camp, talent shows, drill team and moves I put together with my friends in the backyard, I didn't have too much experience doing choreographed dance moves until I took a class at Millennium Dance Complex at 15 years old. That day, dance became my first love, stronger than any school crush. I started taking four to six classes a day, without Mom and Dad telling me to, but because I had to. I went from law school goals to dance class dreams, regardless of what anyone might have thought. Thank God I did, because all of my hopes, wishes and more have come true since I took that leap of faith.

With God in my heart, faith in my pocket and passion in my soul, I married dance long ago. I hope any dancer who truly loves dancing knows God is waiting to bless them tremendously. God would never give you that much joy in any area if He wasn't ready to fulfill it. Timing and patience are key to reap the seeds of your dreams. That one job could change your life forever; you just never know when.

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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