Hi! My name is Daniel Benitez, and I am super excited to serve as a Peer Arts Advisor this year! I am a rising Senior from Green Bay, Wisconsin, pursuing a degree in Spanish and Portuguese with certificates in Translation + Intercultural Communication, Latin American Studies, and, of course, Theater! Apart from wandering around East Pyne (home to the SPO department) or Lewis Arts complex, you might also find me around Forbes College where I am an RCA.
Before coming to Princeton, I had very little experience in the realms of theater, dance, or music. It had always been a dream of mine to involve myself in Performing Arts and potentially even pursue a career in it. But as a first-generation, low income student, this dream seemed completely unrealistic. I didn't have the means to pay for classes or attend intensives, and I knew my immigrant parents wouldn't support such impractical dreams. I had to focus on getting into a good college and building a successful, pragmatic career for myself. That being said, I still wanted to involve myself in the Arts in whichever way I could, even if only as an extracurricular activity.
When I got to college, I auditioned for Theater and Musical Theater shows, Dance companies, and even Poetry groups on campus. I had my fair share of successes and failures, and over the years, I cultivated rich, fulfilling experiences that I will take with me forever. I started with a relatively blank slate and grew into a multi-faceted performer.
At Princeton, I have participated in shows within the Theater and Musical Theater Programs as an actor, part of a tech team, and a choreographer. I have been involved with student musical theater groups such as Princeton's Triangle club and Princeton University Players, I am a dancer in diSiac Dance Company and Más Flow Dance Company, and I have had experience abroad teaching performing arts at a summer camp in China.
My goal in becoming a Peer Arts Advisor is to help other students find their passions and figure out their paths within the Arts. Navigating a simultaneously academic and experiential process within the Arts as a full-time Princeton student is difficult. Whether it's managing your time, dealing with rejections, knowing which groups or shows to be a part of, trying to push your performing limits, or finding your own Arts trajectory, I want to be here to advise you through it.
As a student from an underprivileged background, I also often consider the difficulties experienced by underrepresented groups within the Arts, both on and off campus. I am a strong advocate for implementing change in the realms of Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, and I have been a part of many discussions, both formally and informally, regarding: Who is involved in the Arts? Who is represented in the Arts? Who isn't? and What can we do? I am always open to talk about issues regarding identity and how to improve marginalizing conditions within the various Arts communities on campus.
Regardless of where you're from, what your level of experience is, what languages you speak, or what you want to do at Princeton and after, I'm here to show you that there's a place for you in the Arts. No question is too small and no topic is too ridiculous. Please reach out if you ever need advice or need to talk.
Hope to hear from you soon!