Utah Tech University



Dance Program Director Sara Gallo was selected as one of five finalists for the 2021 DSU Distinguished Professor Award. This prestigious award is for an associate or full professor who has demonstrated a comprehensive record of sustained excellence across all categories of achievement: teaching, service and research. This recognition of Prof. Gallo’s contributions to the dance program, as well as theatre and digital film programs and the university at large, is well deserved!

Professor Jennifer Weber presented at the CORPS de Ballet International 21st Annual Conference

I presented at the CORPS de Ballet International 21st Annual Conference – Identifying Inclusivity, Equality, Equity and Privilege within Ballet’s Training and Culture, held at Florida State University.

Brown, White, Black: The Truth About the Unseen Ballerinas

The discipline of ballet has an acknowledged race problem. Predominantly stemming from white, Euro-centric cultures, the field of ballet continues to be scrutinized for its lack of diversity and lack of relevance to the larger cultures within which it is situated. Steeped in tradition, the field of ballet continues to bring reproductions and new works to the stage. Yet, by adhering to this way of existing, what perspectives are missing? This project responds to this criticism of ballet’s lack of diversity by utilizing a theoretical and creative perspective to investigate ways in which the form can incorporate often missing voices in its narrative.

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National Dance Day 2019

On September 21, the Dance Department held an event with 30 minute workshops for the public. Dance was celebrated with a variety of genres including Aerial, Ballroom, La Blast, Ballet, Flamenco, Contemporary Modern, Swing Dance, Tap and more! Adult and kids workshops were taught! It was a fun event for all involved.

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Dance Program Faculty Nominated as Finalists for Dixie Awards

The Dance Program is honored to have both of its full-time faculty members, Sara Gallo and Elizabeth Stich, nominated as finalists for the Dixie Awards in the categories of Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year–Rising Star, respectively.

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Hosted by Dixie State University College of the Arts Dance Department., in partnership with St. George Dance Co., the Red Rock Dance Festival is three full days of moving, collaborating, dance making, and performing each June at DSU. The Festival’s mission is to bring together a community of choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative environment to study, perform and create new work.

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DSU Dance Professor and Co-Director Sara Gallo recently presented “Meaningful Movements: Building Community and the Scholarship of Engagement Through a University Modern Dance and Improvisation Club” at the 20th Annual National Dance Education Organization’s Conference in San Diego, CA.

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Senior Dance major McKelynn Barber and senior Integrated Studies major Rebecca Goates have been accepted to present their senior capstone research at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR). Barber’s piece, “To Be” explores the fluidity between clarity and uncertainty as knowledge is gained. Goates’ piece “In Stark Exposition” investigates the intersection of Dance and English, and how these disciplines enhance one another.

“I am thrilled that both McKelynn and Becca were motivated to share their original creative research with other students, faculty, and interested members of the public across the state,” faculty mentor Elizabeth Stich stated. Reflecting on the significance of Barber and Goates’ participation in the conference, Stich noted that, “this is the first time that dance will be represented by DSU at UCUR and I cannot imagine two higher quality presentations to represent both our university and our field.”

The 2021 conference is hosted by Brigham Young University and is being held virtually this year. Presentations are available beginning Friday, February 19 and will remain open to the public for the duration of 2021. For conference schedule, visit the link below. You can locate both of the presentations by using the search filter “Performing Arts, Film, Video, and Other Media.”

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Faculty Jenny Mair and DSU Students travel to Italy through Summer Study Abroad Program

During the summer of 2019, Faculty Leader Jenny Mair traveled with 8 DSU students to Florence, Italy, for a 3-week dance intensive with FlorenceSummerDance.  This eclectic experience was a daily study of various dance genres such as Modern, Ballet, Somatics, and Hip Hop, culminating in an outdoor performance.  While there, students also experienced ancient art, architecture, delicious food, and the Tuscany Coast.  This type of experience gives students and faculty opportunity to create active global connections and professional growth. This has now become a study abroad program through DSU.

Professor Jennifer Weber Presented at the CORPS de Ballet International 22 Annual Conference

Professor Weber presented at the CORPS de Ballet International 22nd Annual Conference – Advocating for Integrity in Ballet’s Education, Performance, Research and Profession, held virtually this year.

She shared her research, Identifying Intersections of Identity as a Tool to Understand the Complexity of the Dancing Body, as a paper presentation. Using an intersectional lens Weber explored the possibility of expanding the view of the body both in the classroom and on stage. She shared methodologies that identify, analyze, articulate, and extrapolate intersectionality in order to decolonize the dancing body. Her research was well received.

Professor Sara Gallo and DSU students presented at the 2019 Eastwest Somatics Network Conference

On December 14, 2019, Associate Professor Sara Gallo presented at the Eastwest Somatics Network Conference at the Zion National Park Lodge. DSU students served as her co-presenters, and following her paper presentation Dance Improvisation – An Ever-Evolving Avenue for Self-Affirmation, they performed a structured dance and drum improvisation and engaged in discussion with conference attendees.

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Dance Professor Presents Aerial Dance Choreography at Flight of Fancy “Cinematic”

Dance Professor Presents Aerial Dance Choreography at Flight of Fancy “Cinematic”
Dance Professor and Co-Director Elizabeth Stich recently presented an aerial fabric solo entitled “Starlette” as a guest artist in the production Flight of Fancy “Cinematic” with Aerial Arts of Utah. The concert featured a cast of aerialists, dancers, and actors during three performances at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City, November 16-17, 2018.

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Professor Elizabeth Stich Published In Journal of Dance Education

Professor Stich’s article, “The Gift of Embracing Risk: Responsibility as Practice in Aerial Dance,” co-authored with colleague Julianna Hane of Winthrop University, was recently published in the Journal of Dance Education, a peer-reviewed publication that presents the latest developments in dance education research and practice.

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DSU Dance Program Students and Faculty Attend the 2020 American College Dance Association Northwest Regional Conference

In early March, a group of DSU Dance Program students and faculty attended the 2020 American College Dance Association Northwest Regional Conference at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

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September Guest Artist Master Classes with Omar Edwards

Omar Edwards came to DSU to teach a Master Class to DSU students. Over 30 students came to learn from him. A showing of Song For Our People a film by Mustapha Khan was shown the day before,

Omar has been dancing for 23 years. He has recorded with four musicians in a studio, creating an album called Tap Dancin is Music, where the Tap Dancer is the leader of the band. Omar has visited over 20 countries to share his foot music. He has performed with Alicia Keys, Savion Glover, and was featured as a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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DSU Dance Scholarship Students Volunteer at George Washington Academy Fall Carnival

DSU Dance Program Scholarship recipients recently spent part of their Saturday volunteering at a dance booth at local K-8 charter school George Washington Academy.

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October Guest Artist Master Classes

October 2018 is proving to be an eventful month for the DSU Dance Program as it recently hosted master classes taught by dancers from Repertory Dance Theatre as well as dancers who were finishing up the most recent season at Tuachan Center for the Arts. Additionally the program will host a scholarship audition/master class for Florence Summer Dance 2019 with Liliana Condotti.

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DSU Dance Professor Presents on A Somatic Approach to Aerial Dance at the Dance Science and Somatic Educators 2018 Conference.

DSU Dance Professor and Co-Director Elizabeth Stich recently presented “A Somatic Approach to Aerial Dance” at the biennual Dance Science and Somatic Educators Conference hosted at The University at Buffalo – SUNY, August 3-5, 2018.

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