Aileen Norris is a senior at the University of Utah double majoring in English and modern dance. For her honors thesis, Norris explored how movement can act as an activist role, and in what ways dance can impact the social justice movement. “In the dance community, it’s a very tricky realm to navigate. It can be seen as tacky if you try to make dance work that is about a specific issue,” she said.
Norris drew her inspiration for her thesis project from incidents of gun violence in the United States. “When the Pulse Night Club shooting happened in 2016, I was really affected,” she said. “I needed to process it in an artistic way.” After the Parkland shooting, she decided she was ready to take on the issue through creativity.
After she graduates, Norris hopes to work as a freelance dance artist as a performer, as well as incorporating other elements of dance into her life, such as choreography, production and dance writing.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2019 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.