Los Angeles, CA SAS - Fine Arts and English
sydney essex - chair
New York, NY SEAS - Computer and Information Science
How has arts house affected your Penn experience? Arts House IS My Penn Experience! I like to surround myself with people who make me happy and this group of people makes me feel my happiest!! They are also insanely talented and creative humans - their choreography and dancing makes me smile, and scream, and cry - and I am not shy to brag about them all over campus and beyond.
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you've ever danced/watched and why? During my spring of junior year, I was in Aubrey Kazimi's pointe piece and we performed to a live saxophone quartet and original composition! The creation process of this piece was extremely unique and so interesting to be apart of. Leading up to the show, we practiced to a lot of different songs learning how to reinterpret our movement quality to match each one. By showtime, it felt so nice to be able to listen and allow our bodies to move in sync to the live instruments.
What’s your signature move? crotch splitting penché
Hingham, MA SEAS - Chemical Biomolecular Engineering
Why did you join Arts House? I came into college with a pure ballet background of 15 years. I knew that I wanted to continue to dance, but I wanted to expand my repertoire by trying new dance styles. I stalked a lot of the Penn dance groups and I thought Arts House was the best company to do just that.
What have you learned from Arts House? I’ve learned to push myself as a dancer both with my technical skills and with my creative abilities. I walked into arts house dead set on never choreographing and I just choreographed my first piece the spring of my junior year. It was a struggle at times and I went through times were I really disliked my piece, but I'm so glad that I did it. It's a rewarding experience that I'll probably never get to do again once I graduate.
erin bailey - business director
West Orange, NJ SAS - Cognitive Science
Why did you join Arts House? I really wanted to find a close knit group of talented dancers on campus. I was a competitive dancer and Arts House provided me the same level of dancing without all the stress of competition. Also, I wanted to be able to improve on my choreography and creativity.
What have you learned from Arts House? I have learned how to express myself more creatively through choreography and I have really developed my own sense of style when it comes to dance. Before arts house, I was limiting myself creatively and I have really come out of my shell.
What’s your signature move? aerial or pirouettes (righty of course)
katie de guzman
London, UK SAS - Psychology
What's your favorite arts house memory? The first night my choreography was performed.
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you've ever danced/watched and why? Shelby’s “Car Radio” (Spring 2019) ; the story and choreo meant a lot to her and me because I love her so much and it felt amazing to dance it.
What’s your favorite style of dance? Contemporary
MERRY Gu - artistic director
West Chester, PA SAS - PPE
What’s your favorite thing about Arts House? One of my favorite things is that we're completely student-run. Having danced with ballet schools/companies before coming to Penn, I've found it super refreshing to be a part of a group whose every decision--from the costumes we wear to the dance teachers we hire--is made by and for its own members, without compromising our production quality or technique.
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? I truly cannot imagine my Penn experience without Arts House. Beyond being a way to maintain/expand my technique, take a break from the stress of school, and participate in semesterly shows, Arts House is where I met my absolute best friends and biggest role models, and is the first place I turn to for love, support, advice, or a good laugh.
What have you learned from Arts House? My involvement in Arts House has taught me more than probably most of my clubs or other commitments combined (for better or for worse!). From soft skills like managing my own time well and venturing way out of my comfort zone, to more tangible ones like leading effective rehearsals and producing a show, I've learned more than I could have ever expected just from being a part of haus.
Pittsburgh, PA SAS - PPE
Why did you join Arts House? I applied to Penn early decision specifically for Arts House! My friend’s sister was in Arts House, and when I looked up their videos I was blown away. It then became my college dream to come to Penn and dance for Haus!
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? Arts House IS my Penn experience. It was my first family at Penn and my other friends know that Arts House will pretty much be all I ever talk about.
What's your favorite thing about Arts House? Our production quality and promotion material.
What have you learned from Arts House? That you always have a family here.
Wyndmoor, PA SAS - English
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? When I came to Penn, I assumed my creative side would be put on hold while I pursued my studies. Arts House not only helped me preserve this part of myself, but enabled me to grow in ways I could never imagine. I definitely credit Arts House with helping me become a person I am proud to be. Plus, it helped me make my best friends.
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you’ve ever danced/watched and why? Katie DG's piece “I’m Good” (Spring 2019) inspired by Audrey Hepburn, my idol, featuring us wearing clout goggles and long gloves on stage and blowing kisses to the audience. I would do anything to perform this piece again!
What have you learned from Arts House? I’ve learned to never be afraid to try something new!
What’s your favorite thing about Arts House? How supportive and fun everybody is. It makes each rehearsal so great and I constantly look forward to the next Arts House thing
samantha pecan - marketing director
Philadelphia, PA SAS - Economics
Why did you join Arts House? I remember coming to my audition and thinking I didn’t belong there. I was so blown away by the level of technique and skill that every single dancer possessed. The company was also super diverse in skillset, so I knew there was so much room to learn from my peers. But beyond the dance skills, I saw that the current company members weren’t only friends, they were a family.
What have you learned from Arts House? I have learned quite literally everything I know from Arts House. Because of my position as marketing director, in the span of one semester, I learned so much about myself and even discovered a potential career path. I’ve also learned to look at examples from the past and not take them as given, I’m constantly thinking of new ways to improve the company and get better at my job.
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? Arts House has been the biggest constant in my life at Penn. A week into freshman year, I immediately had friends, upperclassmen to turn to for advice, and an incredible support system. Arts House has given me so many new skills, a creative outlet from the stresses of school, my roommates, and my absolute best friend, and for that I am beyond grateful.
Phoenixville, PA SAS - Physics
What is your favorite thing about Arts House? It is impossible to pick one favorite thing about Arts House, but the diversity of backgrounds from which the dancers come is definitely up there. Because we were all trained differently, everyone in Arts House has their own style of teaching, choreographing, and dancing. The melding of these different styles keeps the company growing and pushing boundaries, which is something I really appreciate about Arts House.
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? Immediately after joining, Arts House became my home. Because we spend so much time together, the group quickly became my closest friends and gave me a sense of belonging on campus, which really eased the transition to college. It also provides me with an artistic outlet, which is essential for me to have. The personal and artistic support from Arts House has not just affected my Penn experience, but it has made my Penn experience.
Wrentham, MA SAS
Why did you join Arts House? As a ballet addict from the age of four, I always thought I would stick with classical ballet. However, I attended one AHDC workshop in the fall of my freshman year, and I knew I had to branch out. When I attended auditions, I was thrilled to find out that I could maintain my ballet training while also exploring new styles. In fact, our diverse dance backgrounds comprise our greatest strength as a company. AHDC has since embraced me as their “sassy ballerina.” Thanks to this company, I can continue my dance journey while maintaining my academic career at Penn.
What’s your favorite thing about Arts House? Arts House epitomizes the Penn motto of “work hard, play hard.” Laughter fills our many hours of rehearsal. During our dance classes and workshops, we all scream in support of each other. Performing is electrifying and has always been my outlet, but I find that performing alongside talented individuals who believe in you proves even more rewarding. I am grateful for my second family and second home(s) on campus (shoutout Platt/Em Sachs/Delancey). I would encourage anyone who loves dance to consider joining our house. :)
Éloïse L’Her - scheduling director
Abu Dhabi, UAE SAS - Biochemistry
Why did you join Arts House? The professionalism first appealed to me, seeing as I wanted to continue performing and learning but also improve; however, it became more than that when I meant everyone at the workshop and auditions. It became clear that the connection each member had with one another was one I wanted to be a part of.
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you've ever danced/watched and why? Lost Boy (Fall 2017). It was the first video I watched when looking at dance groups at Penn and I knew from that piece that I wanted to join Arts House. The creativity, talent and professionalism left me in awe so I will never get bored of watching it.
How did you know Arts House was right for you? Everyone was so passionate about dance, alongside their enthusiasm for education, which allowed me to truly connect with each member.
Austin, TX SAS - BBB
What’s your favorite Arts House memory? My favorite Arts House memory is the night I got in. I went to bed convinced I was going to wake up to a rejection email, but instead I woke up to an enthusiastic welcome to the haus!
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? I've done so many things I never thought I'd do through Arts House, from carrying a giant stuffed banana around campus to performing at Carnegie Hall. Arts House is also a really valuable creative escape from the stress of academics at Penn.
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you’ve ever danced/watched and why? Company piece my first show will always hold a really special place in my heart as the first time I performed as an Arts House member. All the hard work and sleep deprivation from tech week just fell into place when the lights came on.
zoe roman - costume director
Rockville Centre, NY SAS - Communications
What’s your favorite thing about Arts House? It has an environment that challenges every member to grow and improve, but is also stress-free and inspiring. Each show is so rewarding!
What is your favorite Arts House piece that you’ve ever danced/watched and why? My favorite Arts House piece was “Rock Your Body” (Fall 2018) because it was my first time performing with the whole company. It was so much fun to have rehearsals with the company each week because it gave me the opportunity to get really close with everyone. And company pieces always create such a great energy on stage!
How has Arts House affected your Penn experience? Arts House has given me such a special group of friends who motivate and support me in every aspect of life at Penn. I look forward to dancing with them every week!