Master's student dances her way to graduation

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Ed Flores and Ed Flores | The Daily Wildcat Katelyn Paulsen, a UA student graduating with a bachelor’s degree in dance and one of the School of Dance’s outstanding seniors, is dancing her way from the stage at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre to medical school.

Candice Barth, a University of Arizona graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in dance, is using her passion for dance to show the world how to express themselves and appreciate art.

Barth’s dance career started when she would dance around her house as a child. Soon, she took her dance skills from her house to dance classes when she was four years old.

“I stared when I was very little,” Barth said. “Before I even started taking dance classes, my grandpa and grandma made me a ballet mixtape and a tutu, so I just started dancing around the house. When I started doing that, my parents thought that they should put me in dance classes.”

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As a master’s student, Barth chose to do both the performance track and choreography. 

“I was able to dance different master works, do pieces by mainstream choreographers, and I was the main role in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco,” Barth said. “As a choreographer, I was able to choreograph several pieces and present some of them at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre.”

Throughout her time in the UA dance program, Barth said that one of her biggest accomplishments was teaching people how to appreciate dance. She was able to not only perform and choreograph pieces, but she was able to teach.

“I taught non-major dance classes for ballet, modern and jazz,” Barth said. “It was a unique experience. I got to open them up to a new world and show them how to express themselves.”

Autumn Eckman, an assistant professor of dance, has known Barth for two years and was the chair for her thesis committee. She said that Barth is a great choreographer and was pleasantly surprised to hear about her rock ballet.

“She was able to successfully tackle all areas required by graduate students,” Eckman said. “She’s an excellent choreographer, an excellent scholar, and did excellent research.”

Barth has danced on the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre stage multiple times, but her favorite performance was a piece choreographed by Nacho Duato because his work resonated with her. 

During Barth’s time in the master’s program she was able to make many memories, but reading the course reflection by her students took the cake.

 “Students would mention that they had a deeper appreciation for dance,” Barth said. “It was fulfilling as a teacher and an artist.”

Assistant professor of dance, Amy Ernst, describes Barth as a supremely talented dancer and choreographer. She believes that Barth’s ability to give back to the program is what makes her stand out.

“Her desire to give back to her field is what really makes her unique at this point in her career,” Ernst said. “She’s had a wonderful professional performing career and then her return to earn her [Master’s of Fine Arts] really distinguished her dedication to her art.”

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Ernst has known Barth since 2007 and remembers a performance where Barth danced one of Ernst’s personal pieces.

“A very special time for me was a piece of choreography I did which featured her in 2010 when she was an undergrad,” Ernst said. “The piece itself was dedicated to my mother-in-law who recently passed away from cancer, and Candice was a very big part of that piece in terms of her artistry and her ability to communicate what I was trying to express.”

After graduation, Barth plans on going to Denver, Colo., where she will be reunited with her husband. She has also created a curriculum for a dance appreciation class for schools. 

Barth will continue to dance and will be a part of a contemporary ballet company where she can dance and choreograph various pieces.

“She is always pleasant, positive and active,” Eckman said. “All of her peers and the undergraduates look up to her.”


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