Kelvin Burzon almost missed out on a major opportunity.
The Fort Wayne, Ind., native, who is of Filipino descent, earned a bachelor’s degree at Wabash College and is a member of the African American Dance Company, one of three performance ensembles that are courses in Indiana University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS). The ensembles, which also include the African American Choral Ensemble and IU Soul Revue, comprise the African American Arts Institute (AAAI), a program within IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA).
Upon arriving at IU, Burzon, who is now in the final year of a Master’s of Fine Arts program in photography, was urged to try out for the dance company by his undergraduate classmate—who was mistaken about one minor detail.
“He invited me to audition and actually told me the wrong room—I walked into an opera audition,” recalled the affable Burzon, who was in show choir and theater productions as a high school student.
Still, he remained undaunted, reaching out to Professor Iris Rosa, director of the dance company since its inception. Rosa, never one to rebuff an eager student, allowed Burzon to come to the first day of class to see if he could catch on to the choreography the dancers were learning.