Ayla Allen

Ayla Allen headshot


In addition to my certificates and major, I am also involved in two student dance groups on campus and have participated in two theater theses. I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska until moving to Los Angeles a few years ago. This move was very influential for me because while my family has always been extremely supportive of my involvement in the arts, LA showed me the diversity in the arts that my hometown lacked. The overwhelming number of rejections became incredibly discouraging, but by continuing to take dance classes I was able to maintain a fulfilling relationship with the arts and find confidence. While it can be hard to find the time to experience everything Princeton has to offer, my involvement with the Lewis Center and student run groups has been enriching in an incomparable way. I have been involved in dance and theater since I was four, and it has been an amazing experience to continue growing artistically at such a rigorous academic institution. I am not exactly sure of my career goals after college, but I do know that I want to pursue the arts professionally. My dream is to perform on Broadway before finding a job in an environmental field.

I am so thrilled to be a peer mentor for the Lewis Center! Navigating program applications and course selection can be challenging, and sometimes especially so for the arts. As a science major getting two certificates, I have found course selection difficult due to limited lab times and seminar scheduling. I would love to talk to students with questions about balancing classes in the Lewis Center and a science major, as that has been one of the biggest challenges for me. I would also love to make myself available for anyone interested in issues of race and diversity in the arts. As a freshman, I was the only black dancer in Princeton University Ballet, and now I am one of two black dancers in the company. Although this is only one instance of a race in the arts issue, I am interested in hearing thoughts and concerns from current or potential Lewis Center students.

Additionally, I am studying abroad in Spring 2017, so it is very possible to get a certificate in the LCA and take a semester abroad! I was intimidated and overwhelmed by the process of planning classes for my next two years to be able to get the certificates I want with a study abroad semester. Yet, with the support of other students and program directors, I was able to figure out how to take advantage of the amazing opportunity to study abroad. I am happy to talk about my process, or just provide a safe space to bounce around ideas. I’m always willing to grab a meal or coffee, and feel free to contact me at any time!

Class of '18

Program in Dance

Residential College


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