Name: Eli Weinberg

Age: 23

Major: Theater arts

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

UCSC college: Kresge

Favorite class or professor and why?

Ted Warburton's Dance Improvisation was one of the first dance classes I decided to take at UCSC. It introduced dance concepts and technique in an extremely personal and active way, giving a specific responsibility to the creative choices made while providing for freedom of movement and expression. Ted Warburton is a phenomenal professor and facilitator of dance and theory, and this course has served as a cornerstone in my understanding of the creative process and improvisation. This is only one of many favorite classes and teachers that have been hugely inspirational.

Most memorable experience at UCSC?

Through Tandy Beal's Dance Around the World and art education class, I was given the opportunity to translate English to Spanish for the mayor of Santa Cruz as she spoke to the families of 200 third graders and all in attendance, declaring February 28 "Dance Around the World Day" in Santa Cruz.

Favorite spot on campus and why?

Nothing compares to flying over the second hump on the center bike path coming down the hill from the Music Center on a late spring day, taking in the sunset and 180-degree view of the water, then dropping in to patches of cool air as you pass the Farm to the right.

How has UCSC shaped you?

UCSC has provided me with the opportunity to experiment, define, challenge, and understand how I interact with myself and with my surroundings. Certainly I have grown through helping lead backpacking trips through the Sierras with the Recreation Department's Wilderness Orientation and facilitating proper hygiene in the wilderness through instructional skits. Also performing since freshman year with Someone Always Dies and learning that fasting the day of a show out of nervousness was not the most effective approach to successful improv. UCSC also happened to provide me with a two-year abroad experience in Santiago de Chile, and I cannot quite describe with words the immensity of change and shaping this experience fostered in me.

What are your future plans?

Train in martial arts practices in Southwest India. Perform throughout Latin America while trying to get rid of my gringo accent. Find more opportunities for bilingual dance theater performance in Europe and the Middle East. Further incorporate education into my vision as a performance artist, pushing myself to be challenged equally as a teacher and performer. Get a call in to my mom at least every other week to let her know what's up.

How did you choose your college, and how has your college affected your education?

I initially chose College Ten for its commitment to social justice and community but decided to transfer affiliation to Kresge after the first quarter of freshman year, finding it a better fit with proximity to theater arts and K-town kids. Kresge served as a retreat from the chaos of freshman year, a recluse haven where the private and personal could be appreciated while situated in a thriving community.

Accomplishments:

Recreation leader with UCSC Recreation Department since sophomore year--facilitator of group backpacking and outdoor adventure experiences.

Four-year member of Someone Always Dies--UCSC premier long-form improv troupe.

Involved with Tandy Beal's Dance Around the World art education program involving team teaching in third grade classrooms in the Santa Cruz area and culminating in a performance in the Porter dining hall with world dancers and 200 students with their families.

ArtsBridge scholar--I am currently teaching, twice a week, traditional Chilean folklore dance to fifth graders at Ohlone Elementary School in Watsonville.

As I consider the most striking events that have shaped and contributed to my experiences at UCSC, the act of performance has certainly been most moving. I've acted, danced, directed, and choreographed for performances since 2004. I consider each piece I was fortunate enough to be involved with both a personal and collective success, in which meaningful relationships were built and artistic and social responsibility defined.