I've been traveling the world with the documentary film Strike A Pose, speaking about diversity, representation in media, LGBTQ rights and other issues. Without my time at UWCSEA, this could have simply been about 'promoting a movie'. However, UWCSEA has given me a global context in which to stand."Kevin Stea ’87, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Singer, Director and Advocate for Equal Rights
When I first started dancing and performing, I thought I was turning my back on my time at UWC. I equated UWCSEA solely with rigorous studies. But looking back, I realize I owe most of my success to what I experienced there. The College ideals became the backbone of how I navigated an industry filled with endless personality types, one that brought me to dozens of countries and continues to provide endless unpredictable and challenging situations.
Without the studying and time management skills that I (at the time begrudgingly) honed in IB Diploma, I never would have been able to handle the insane workload of being assistant choreographer on Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, on which I was also dancer and dance captain. At the time, I was also attending classes at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television and doing two other shows in my ‘spare time’.
Throughout my career I have jumped at opportunities to live in other countries while working, because after my time at UWCSEA I felt like a citizen of the world, and comfortable in situations that others can sometimes find daunting or foreign.
It wasn't until years into my career that I realized my idealism, my sense of responsibility and my integrity around the business of my art, meant my peers had come to see me as a leader. As a result, I spearheaded Dancers Alliance for several years, as the organisation was working to set equitable wages and minimum working conditions for all non-union gigs, championing dancers' rights when often there were none. Committed to teamwork and creative bargaining where all sides win, I even found myself negotiating tour contracts for dancers with pop stars' managers when negotiations with agents were failing, for tours I wasn't even involved in. My sense of service to my community has compelled me to focus on leaving it better than when I arrived, and because of our efforts with Dancers Alliance, tours and music videos are now covered by the unions.
In 2017, I traveled the world with the documentary film Strike A Pose, speaking about diversity, representation in media, LGBTQ rights and other issues. Without my time at UWCSEA, this could have simply been about 'promoting a movie'. However, UWCSEA gave me a global context in which to stand.
I could go on and on... UWCSEA was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. Everything afterwards seemed easy by comparison, or at least manageable.
UWCSEA sets one up for a big life ... as big as one is willing to make it.
Kevin attended UWCSEA as a UWC National Committee Scholar from the USA. In the IB Diploma, Kevin studied English, Business, Math and History.