By Jule Kilgore-Reed ’25
Jule KR '25

Jule Kilgore-Reed ’25 is paving the way for the future of PULSE, the dynamic and inclusive dance organization on campus. 

As a freshman, I was slightly intimidated by the super cool dancers on campus, so it makes sense why it took me so long to get as involved in the dance community as I am now. There are many opportunities for me to express myself through dance and movement at Occidental, and take up space in my own way. My favorite way to do that is with PULSE, a club that offers a free, weekly series of dance classes for Oxy students at levels beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Whether you’re interested in returning to dance, or learning to dance for the first time, PULSE is a welcoming and inclusive space for all.

In my first year I discovered PULSE through one of their collaborations with OSAC (Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition); I joined them for a heels night that focused on centering student survivors. The energy that the teachers and other class attendees curated in the dance studio was so welcoming and inspiring, and made me wish I had joined earlier. After I finished my very first Dance Production showing and found myself still wanting to dance, I made a point to attend more PULSE classes as a way to keep my mind flexible and to continue engaging with this form of art. Some of my favorite dancers to ever walk this campus, like Grace Schafer Perry (‘23) and Katie Moore (‘23), taught some of the most impactful dance classes I’ve ever attended. It is through PULSE that I grew closer to both of these women who really shaped my experience at Oxy and my overall impression of what it’s like to be a dancer on campus. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, student clubs at Oxy were at risk of “falling off the map,” so to speak, including PULSE. As the current co-president of PULSE, one of my goals for the club is to ensure its longevity. One way our current e-board is working on this is by providing more resources and literature on dance, and digitally saving these resources for everyone to access at any time as a way to emphasize the unwavering presence of dance throughout history. The PULSE E-board has worked very hard at amending its constitution and mission statements to be more transparent and assertive with the reason the club was initially formed — to create a non-competitive or clique-like environment where various styles of dance are included. I dream that dancers will not only continue to keep creating in a stress-free environment, but also that more people will acknowledge the roots and cultural sanctity that dance holds for many. Ultimately, I hope to continue to amplify this art form and to continue intentionally holding space for dance and mindful movement on campus.

I’ve been reading Oxy student blog posts and newspaper articles in The Occidental (our student-run newspaper) to help familiarize myself with the history of the dance community at Oxy, which has included former clubs such as Hyper Xpressions, PULSE: After Dark, and others. By reading the perspectives of previous executive board members, I discovered that this community has always been rich with compassion and creativity across many styles of dance, especially for hip-hop during a time where it was largely underrepresented on campus. Understanding the climate of dance in the context of PULSE’s existence is important when imagining where PULSE is headed in the future.

I was pleased to discover that PULSE emerged from a desire to see more diversity in dance styles on campus. While PULSE and Hyper both originally began as hip-hop clubs to create a stronger street-style presence at Oxy, PULSE has since become home for various other styles of dance and dancers. Examples of styles that have been taught at PULSE classes include bollywood, hula, contemporary, jazz, waacking and many other fusions of different genres being taught by students in all class years. Our club frequently welcomes folks who have never danced before into the community through some of our classes. It's incredibly heartwarming to see timid first-years, who are just as shy (yet willing) as I was back then, start to get more involved with dance.

Another one of my goals for the future of PULSE is uplift Black dancers on campus. I’m excited to host PULSE’s very first series of Black History Month programming in the 2024 spring semester as a way to acknowledge the contributions Black artists have made on all styles of dance that are popular today.

I really love that PULSE and all the other dance spaces here profoundly impact the landscape of creativity at Oxy. Our school is truly characterized by the involvement of students on campus and what they create. Witnessing the expression of students’ individuality gives me hope for the future of creativity at Oxy for generations to come.

Contact Admission & Aid
Collins House

1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041