Get to know Rachel Luebbert, the 2018 College of Fine Arts Convocation Speaker

 April 24 2018

You might already be familiar with Rachel Luebbert, which wouldn’t be a surprise since she has held a variety of leadership roles in during her time at the College of Fine Arts. Luebbert isn’t just a dancer pursuing an Honors degree in modern dance, but a duel degree in Spanish with a minor in business. Originally from Denver, CO she has taken the U of U campus by storm and we don’t see her stopping anytime soon after graduation. She is curious, empathetic, and thoughtful.

“I choreograph dance works that combine vocal narrative with movement to unpack the deep intimacies of human experiences” Luebbert said.

Her favorite class was Improvisation by Professor Stephen Koester, which facilitated an improvisation practice that embraced individual and collective exploration. It challenged her to embrace instincts, explore kinesthetic responsiveness, and listen to energetic responses.

“Through Koester’s skilled prompting, we as dancers delved into the extremes of spontaneity which can be fragile and tender but also, fierce and driving,” she said. “In each class, we were able to deeply connect to the other movers in ways that were intensely personal, intimate, and unique to that specific person. This class became a catalyst for my interest in community engagement through movement and also, my own artistic practice which engages with improvisation.”

Over the past four years, Luebbert has learned to acknowledge when change is needed and how to work with people to make this happen. When she entered the University, she was quiet, shy, and scared to do many things. Yet, through the incredible classes, faculty, and amazing involvement experiences in the CFA, Luebbert learned how to acknowledge when there are problematic situations, how to critically think about these conditions and work to initiate real change. She learned how to make her voice hear whether that is through writing, conversations, movement, or developing programs.

“It takes a great deal of courage to acknowledge problems and push for change, so I thank all of my professors and mentors who have shown me what it looks like to be an advocate. “

While Luebbert had many memorable moments during her time in the School of Dance, one stands out the most.

“I was standing on the Hayes Christenson stage in a wide lunge, my body covered in grey fabric, and the edges of my skin absorbed the heat of the lights as they faded on,” she described. “Immediately, my body began swirling, diving, trickling. I moved in and out of unison with the other dancers, feeling surges of their tangible energy. There was an electric energy that emanated from the audience. In this moment, with my feet grounded to the floor, my limbs pushing through the thick air, and continually connections with other bodies around me, I felt most alive.”

During her college career, Luebbert feels she has had tremendous experiences which have help mold who she is today. In the School of Dance, she performed many pieces such as the work of Daniel Clifton, Stephen Koester, Luc Vanier, and the GenderPower Project. Luebbert produced an evening length work entitled “New Year” for her honors thesis and a Screendance with Taylor Mott “At 10:34 pm.”

She also served on the Student Concert Committee and as the Student Advisory Committee Co-President. On campus, she worked as a Resident Advisor for three years, served as an Emerging Leaders Intern, and a Guest Writer for the Finer Points Blog. Off campus, she was able to use her Spanish degree in an intern position at the Peruvian Consulate and in a Movement Exchange trip to Panama to teach dance.

People inspire her, by the stories they share, by the art they create, and by the community they form. She loves the beautiful creations that are born from collaboration.

“The CFA is full of powerful and innovative voices and processes that are endlessly creating inspiring things.”

Rachel, we have loved seeing your dedication to the College and wish you the best of luck with your career!

The College of Fine Arts Convocation will be held on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12P at Kingsbury Hall. For more information please visit here.

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