University of Southern California

Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center

Los Angeles, California

The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center serves as the centerpiece of the newly created USC School of Dance. While highly contemporary in its interiors, the exterior façade reflects the historical development of the USC campus, as well as adheres to the University’s master plan design guidelines for creating a Collegiate Gothic environment. The interiors aim to give form to the world of dance—the notions of dynamic and fluid movement in a fixed, permanent installation while referencing dancers’ endurance, strength, intensity, and focus, and the ways dancers interact with, perceive, and are inspired by interior space. Jewel tones—ruby, amethyst, amber, sapphire and turquoise—were selected for the five instructional spaces to inject the spaces with vitality and to communicate empowerment and inspiration. Outside, the building’s L-shaped configuration creates an exterior courtyard encouraging socialization and interaction.

Project Data

62,000 gsf

Program & Highlights

240-seat black box studio theater
Dance studios
Instructional spaces
Faculty and administrative offices


2017 Westside Urban Forum Design Awards Merit Award

Deborah Vankin, "USC celebrates the opening of a $46-million building for dance," Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2016

Brian Seibert, “Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Adds a New Dimension to Arts in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2015

Adrienne Alpert, "USC to build Glorya Kaufman School of Dance," KABC-TV, January 29, 2013

"A Patron with Passion in Los Angeles," New York Times, January 11, 2013

Deborah Vankin, “Glorya Kaufman gives USC millions to build a dance school,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2012


Contractor: Matt Construction
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Civil Engineer: KPFF
MEP: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
Acoustics: McKay Conant Hoover
Theater: Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
Lighting: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Inc
Landscape Architect: Fong Hart Schneider + Partners
Photographers: Ema Peter, Steve Lerum

“It is my hope that dance students will consider this building a second home, a place where they feel comfortable to express themselves and explore new ways to enhance the art of dance in the 21st century.”
— Glorya Kaufman

Dressing Room
Fitness/Physical Therapy Room