students on stage

Donna Franklin

Donna Franklin
Major: MFA, Choreography


Upper Marlboro, MD

High School

Southern Senior High


MFA, Choreography

Career Plans & Goals

My goal is to develop and teach an inclusive dance program at the university level. To me, inclusivity in dance means that anybody and any Body is welcome to learn. There is also attention to origins and history of movement styles, diversity in movement styles offered, and encouragement of personal creativity.


I am a single Mom to Gavyn, 10, and Isobel, 4. They take up the majority of my “activities” time! I also teach the dance program at Chatham Hall, an independent, all girls boarding school located in Chatham, VA. This includes choreographing and producing three performances each academic year.

Why did you choose UNCG and specifically UNCG for the Arts?

I got to know and work with a number of UNCG students during the time I lived in Greensboro. During that time I heard and saw so much positivity, enthusiasm, and embodied knowledge that it was obvious that they were studying someplace that encouraged positivity and creativity, along with learning the academics and dance techniques.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I am even further than I imagined! I have grown as a choreographer and dance instructor in ways I could not previously have imagined because I did not yet have the knowledge.

Peak experience?

So far, it is the relationships I have built with the faculty and my graduate student peers.

What surprised you?

How accessible the faculty are. Everyone, from the director to the professors and instructors, is accessible and want to encourage student success.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My Cohort! The other first year graduate students. We help keep each other together.

What do you think you will miss the most after you graduate?

The class meetings. Both the dance technique classes and the academic classes provide regular opportunities to exchange ideas and grow with like minded dance professionals.

Advice for the incoming class?

Keep track of dates and deadlines on a calendar. There are a lot, especially as a new student.

Describe the moment you knew you UNCG was for you (or alternatively the moment you knew you were in the right major):

There was such a welcoming and positive energy from everyone, both faculty and current graduate students, at the MFA audition. Also, the students in the classes that I observed/ took part in were fully engaged. I could tell that this learning environment would be perfect for me!

Your favorite place on campus and why?

The Jan Van Dyke Courtyard is breezy and so peaceful, and also easily accessible from the dance studios.

Your favorite professor or class and why?

I cannot pick one. The entire MFA curriculum is tailored to my interests. I have found the core curriculum to be addressed towards my long term goals, and the rest is filled with electives of my choosing. Each professor and class offer something unique in a way that encourages personal growth.

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