Student Artist Profile: Khalid Dunton

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Published January 14, 2018
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The Montclarion
Khalid Dunton executes a penché at the Amphitheater at Montclair State University. Madalyn Ruppretch | The Montclarion

Khalid Dunton was born and raised in Washington D.C., but currently lives in Maryland. While being a sophomore dance major and business minor at Montclair State University, Dunton has an optimistic mindset toward his dance career and academics in 2018. Dunton enjoys dancing to all types of music, ranging from classical to hip-hop and even to heavy metal.

Q: What organizations/activities are you involved in on campus?

A: I am involved in many honor societies, and I am also an Resident Assistant (RA) for Sinatra Hall. Being an RA, I have to attend and create many events/activities.

Q: Describe your dance background.

A: I have been dancing since I could walk. I started out dancing in church, but I never received actual technique training until my senior year of high school. My senior year of high school was the first time I ever attended a dance intensive, which is where my technique training began.

Q: What is your favorite genre of dance?

A: I always had a love for hip-hop and jazz, but I fell in love with ballet when I was introduced to it. I used to hate doing ballet because there was so much that I did not know about the body. I was also constantly frustrated because I wished I would have received ballet training earlier in life because I felt left behind in my dancing. But with hard work and great teachers, I saw improvement.

Q: Explain your part from last year’s Works-a-Foot.

A: I performed in four terrific pieces. Two were choreographed by our very own faculty, Christian Von Howard (“Rum”) and Earl Mosley (“I See You”). The other two were choreographed by our talented guest choreographers, Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith (“To Have and To Hold”) and Stacey Tookey (“Gift”).

Q: What projects/productions are you working on for 2018?

A: So far for 2018, I will be working on Dance Works, which takes place in the beginning of April, and Works-a-Foot during fall 2018. I plan on becoming more involved with my dance career so that I can participate and be a part of more projects and productions to come. I have a good feeling 2018 will be a great year for success.

Q: What or who inspires you? Why?

A: I would say the more I dance, the more dance inspires me. I am constantly learning new things about my body and making deeper connections within myself as a person and performer. Also, my mentor Shawn Short kept me motivated to continue dancing.

Q: What are your academic and personal goals for the New Year?

A: As a sophomore, my goals for this academic year are to maintain my high GPA and become more involved with school activities. As a dance major, I also want to go into the city more often to take different dance classes to expand my genre of dance. A motto I created for myself this year is to always push my boundaries all day, everyday.

Q: What are your career goals? Where do you hope to work post-graduation?

A: I actually do not have a set goal. My plan is to audition a little before I graduate, like my junior and senior year, and after graduation. I will be auditioning for any and everything that I can get involved in. One goal I have is to perform in the Broadway musical productions “The Lion King” and “Cats.” But I am a free spirit, so I will go wherever my dancing takes me.

Q: If there is a quote or motto you live by, what is it? How do you live by it?

A: One motto that I live by and that my dad always tells me is to be the best at everything I do, no matter how big or small it may be. Whether it’s flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant, being a doctor or even being the best there is at driving. Try to make everything you do in life perfection.

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