Dance Guest Artists

Jodie Gates

Jodie Gates headshot

Photo by Ian Carney


Jodie Gates is Director and Vice Dean of the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. Under her direction, the dance school hosts a revolutionary new dance program, opening its doors to the first BFA freshman class in Fall 2015.

For thirty years Ms. Gates has established a remarkable career as an educator, director, choreographer and dancer. Innovation, bold ideas, risk-taking and the fostering of creativity and providing platforms for facilitating collaborative projects inspire her.

Her professional performing career includes; former principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and international guest artist touring and performing throughout North and South America, Mexico, Russia, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has been featured in numerous television programs, celebrated festivals, and in the course of her performing career she was invited to perform for President’s Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior and President Bill Clinton.

As an internationally recognized choreographer she has created over 50 original dance works. Receiving critical acclaim, her work has been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “richly textured and profound,” by the Orange County Register. She has recently created works for Ballet West, Cincinnati Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin in Germany, Colorado Ballet, ABT II, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, BalletX, The Juilliard School, Washington Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and several other companies nationally. She is also responsible for teaching, staging and producing William Forsythe’s ballets, including productions at Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Prague National Theater, Zurich Opera Ballet, Teatro La Scala, Houston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet.

As a master teacher and educator Ms. Gates teaches ballet and pointe technique, composition, contemporary and classical repertory and contemporary partnering.  She also coaches professional dancers, mentors pre-professionals as well as guides undergraduate and graduate students with research and thesis projects.

Her honors include recognition from the American Association of University Women for her leadership, dedication and contribution to the arts. She has been acknowledged by American Ballet Theater for her choreographic excellence named the Altria/ABT Fellow, and is a recipient of the esteemed Jerome Robbins ‘New Essential Works’ program. Jodie is also the founding director of the award-winning Laguna Dance Festival in Southern California. The dance festival is dedicated to dance education and presentation with the mission to foster collaborations and develop audience awareness and engagement in the community.