In the book, ‘Linchpin: Are You Indispensable,’ Seth Godin said, “The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.” Whether it is dancing or painting, art demands bravery other than creativity because in each art form you put a piece of yourself in it. Nothing is scarier than showing your rawness to the world as we often hide our true selves, but art sees right through us and encourages us to showcase all sides of us let it be our strengths or flaws. Therefore, art and artist should be given the respect and appreciation they deserve for being fearless, irrespective of the medium they take.
Dancing is a form of art that Tawnya Kuzia has been fascinated by since she was merely two years old, spending hours in front of her mirror dancing to songs, and creating unique moves. It wasn’t until Tawnya was thirteen that she realized that her true passion was choreography because nothing brought her more joy than creating new steps and ways to express through dance. At that tender age, she decided that she would do whatever it takes to achieve her dream.
Tawnya completed her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from San Jose State University, where she was a member of their modern dance troupe, University Dance Theatre, under the direction of Julliard Alumni Gary Masters. After graduating, she carried on with her training in a work-study program at Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, California. This really helped in polishing her skills even further as she trained under some of the world’s top choreographers, including owner and master teacher, Bill Prudich.
After completing her training, in 2006, Tawnya and her husband opened the doors to their own dance center, Nor Cal Dance Arts, where she took the role of the Artistic Director of its dance companies and teams. Due to her immense talent and exceptional skills, dancers trained by her were accepted into prestigious dance programs and Colleges such as ABT, Alvin Ailey, UC Irvine, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount, Marymount Manhattan, UCLA, among others. It was a matter of months that everyone was talking about her studio and want to get themselves registered. Fortunately, for Tawnya, this was just the beginning of the opportunities, and success fate was going to shower at her. Because of having the best teachers and best outcome, her studio received the award of the “Best of San Jose” since 2009 to three consecutive years.
The word of her excellent skill and creative mind spread like wildfire, and every artist wanted to work with her. She was honored to work with and choreograph for two time Academy Award winner Bobby Moresco. Furthermore, she has choreographed for award shows and events, including the NAACP Awards, Firefly Run Tour, and Street Drum Corps residency at the Roxy Theater. Moreover, the Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence selected Tawnya as a national finalist in 2009 and again in 2016. For many, this might be the highlight of their career, but for Tawnya, it was just the start as the most significant opportunity was on its way. This opportunity was when she got to choreograph for three seasons of NBC’s hit summer TV show produced by Jennifer Lopez, ‘World of Dance!’
The abundance of opportunities and overwhelmingly positive response led her to inaugurate professional company, Rugged Dance Company. She received the People’s Choice award and Critics Choice at SJDanceCo’s ChoreoProject Awards Concerts once again through her diligent and relentless hard work with the newly founded company. Even, the Metro magazine named her one of Silicon Valley’s top 25 to watch as the next generation of leaders in their fields.
Despite being in this field for twenty years and reaching the summit of success in her field, Tawnya never lost the love of choreographing and dancing within herself. To this day, her eyes still hold the same burning passion for dancing as they did when she was thirteen. To keep this love burning, she is always excited and training fresh dancers. As her initial dream came true, she found a new dream of inspiring performers and audiences through her choreography to experience the art of dance in new and creative ways. While also giving this form of art, the love it truly deserves. Needless to say, this dream is reaching its destination in no time.
Even after all this success, Tawnya is the humblest person alive who spends her free time with her two adorable children and loving husband. Her Instagram @tawnyakuzia proves it all, where she posts wholesome photos of her family along with her choreographed dancing clips.
Starting from dancing in front of mirrors to choreographing dances for notorious celebrities, she made it all possible through her infectious attitude of continually pushing boundaries to become the successful person that Tawnya dreamed of being. She refused to let the stigma of female dancers and the opinions of others get to her. Instead, she continues to walk, or should I say dance, to the path she craved for herself, which led her to nothing but success. All because she believed in herself and her capabilities. Tawnya Kuzia is a true inspiration to all who would be remembered for eternity.