Barnard's Dance department helped launch the career of Columbia alum Michael Novak, who recently joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company. In a Time Out New York profile, Novak describes the influence and support of many members of Barnard's Dance faculty. Novak talks about his experience studying dance at Barnard in the following excerpt:
"At Barnard. I went right back into ballet, with Katie Glasner and Allegra Kent. I also started taking modern classes with Donlin Foreman and Colleen Thomas. Colleen’s class really just gave me a chance to explore my body—how I liked to move rather than basing it off of a strict technique. I started auditioning for the choreographers who were coming in [to stage works at Barnard] and I did some repertory by Bill T. Jones and Stephen Petronio and started to get that itch again. [Writer] Mindy Aloff and [former Taylor dancer and chair of Barnard’s dance department] Mary Cochran both mentioned Taylor. They said that I should check it out, and it wasn’t the first time that Taylor had been in the periphery, but it was the first time that I had two teachers who were very encouraging about it."