Junior Passionately Dances Through Life


Madi Burkart, GSB ’21, is the secretary of Fordham’s Expressions Dance Alliance. (Courtesy of Madi Burkart for the Fordham Ram)

Madi Burkart, GSB ’21, spends most of her nights in the Keating basement dance studio, rehearsing choreographed dances as she and her peers prepare to perform on Collins mainstage at the end of the semester.

Burkart has been a member of Expressions Dance Alliance for the last three years, auditioning and making it onto the team in the fall semester of her freshman year. Since then, she has moved into an executive board position and is currently serving as secretary.

“I really wanted to get involved and be more involved in the company on a more leadership level,” she said. “So I ran for treasurer at the end of my freshman year, and then did that. And then I went abroad, so I missed the semester, obviously, and now I’m back as secretary.”

Dance has been an integral part of Burkart’s life since she was a child. She started dancing at the age of three and by the time she was 11 she was dancing at the pre-professional level.

“I really wanted to be a professional dancer at that point, but as I got into high school, I sort of realized it wasn’t really for me in terms of the political nature of it,” Burkart said.

Burkart said she didn’t like the drama associated with dancing at that level. She said she also dealt with a lot of body shaming and faced instructors telling her what to and what not to do with her body.

“I was excited when I got to college and Expressions was there, and we can just come together, do this for fun, and there’s no pressure to be perfect,” said Burkart. “It’s just about, you know, creating stuff together. And that’s what really drew me to dance in the first place.”

Burkart is originally from Chicago but had always wanted to live in New York City, especially growing up as a dancer.

“I always thought I’d be on Broadway, or I’d be in the Rockettes, you know when you’re little. And that’s just this big dream for dancers. That really is the dream, to be in New York City,” Burkart said. “But as I got older, I became a city girl, and I just love the city lifestyle. I love to be busy. Just the city life, the grind, the ambition and the passion that everyone has here.”

Despite her love for New York City, Burkart said she misses Chicago and her family, especially her nephews and niece.

“Being an aunt is a huge part of my life, and I love being an example for them,” she said. “They’re the lights of my life.”

New York City and Chicago are not the only cities Burkart loves exploring. She spent the 2019 spring semester abroad in London and recently took a trip to Tokyo over winter break with her global immersion marketing class.