2017-2018 Departmental Fellows

Departmental Fellows

Senior Fellow

Emily Farrow

Emily Farrow '18

Dance and Computer Science Double Major

From Wayne, PA

  • African/Diasporan II
  • Modern/ Postmodern II/III
  • Text/Voice Composition
  • Somatics I
  • Seminar In Production
  • Introduction to Movement Analysis
  • Sri Lanka Travel Seminar 2015
  • Osborne Scholar 2017-2018

I was asked recently to describe my perfect day, and after thinking of several different scenarios, I realized that they all revolved around dance. Any day that I get to move and explore the sensation of dancing is a perfect day in my book, whether it be through a laughter-inducing dance team practice, an exhausting but rewarding movement class, or just five minutes to myself spent jumping around in my room.

My journey with dance started as an energetic four- year old in a toddler ballet class at my local YMCA. From there I joined a studio and spent the next 13 years taking classes in ballet, pointe, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, and jazz. Coming to Denison, I figured that I would just take a couple of dance classes and maybe audition for a show or two. This soon turned into a minor, and eventually a major. I found that I'm not done with dance, just as dance is not done with me. The classes and professors here at Denison have expanded my view of dance, introducing me not only to Modern and African dance, but also to a whole new way of thinking and speaking about it. The summer after my freshman year I was lucky enough to conduct research in dance and travel to Sri Lanka to perform and teach Modern, and last year I was honored to be a junior dance fellow. I’m excited to be a fellow again this year, and in the future I can't wait to see where my journey with dance takes me next.


Junior Fellows

Bridget Ryan

Bridget Ryan ‘19

Dance and International Studies Major

From Davis, IL

  • Vail Scholar 2017-2018
  • Sri Lanka Travel Seminar
  • African/Diasporan II
  • Text/Voice Based Composition
  • Seminar in Production
  • Modern/Post-Modern II
  • Modern/Post-Modern III
  • Introduction to Movement Analysis
  • Dance Appreciation

Prior to attending Denison, I danced competitively and trained in various styles - tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, and musical theater. I have always had a strong passion for dance, thus leading me to continue pursuing it in college. I completed my first year of school at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, where I was first exposed to modern dance. This exposure increased my hunger and curiosity for more dance and for more movement, so I transferred to Denison to study it more intensely. Here at Denison, I have been able to take a wide variety of classes relating to dance, and my passion for dance has expanded far beyond performing.

Some of my previous experiences include taking class from the Milwaukee Ballet, doing a workshop with Pilobolus, performing reset work from Karen Stokes Dance Company, attending and performing at one of the American College Dance Association (ACDA) regional conferences in 2016, and participating in the Ohio Five Dance Work- shop in 2017.

Most recently, during the summer of 2017, I worked as a Performing Arts Administrative Intern for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), where I received hands-on experience in maintaining a non- profit dance organization that is centered around preserving, celebrat- ing, and educating about all forms of percussive dance, but especially tap dance.

The Dance Department at Denison has provided me with such an encouraging and supportive environment to explore and grow as an artist, researcher, and human. I am looking forward to continuing my bodily research over the next two years. I am thrilled and honored for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for dance and to contribute to the dance community at Denison through my role as a Dance Fellow.

Maïlys Dagan

Maïlys Dagan ‘19

Dance and Psychology Double Major, Women and Gender Studies Minor

From France

  • Sri Lanka Travel Seminar 2016
  • Osborne Scholar 2017-2018
  • Modern/Postmodern II
  • African Diaspora II
  • Dance as an Art Form
  • Somatics I

Coming to Denison University, I was exposed to ways of movement that were new to me, but also to histories, cultural markers, and performance approaches of which I was previously unaware. In my first semester on campus, I was cast in two dance pieces, one led and choreographed by Sandra Mathern- Smith, and the other by Stafford Berry. I like to think that these two pieces were critical in my commitment to the dance department here at Denison, as they introduced me to the warm student community of the department, the strong support of the professors, and the rewards of performing in such a context.

I began dancing at a young age, starting with classical. Having constantly lived in movement as a result of my family’s lifestyle, I was exposed to various styles of dance and many different ways of teaching these styles. I took classes in ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, salsa, Western African dance, on hardwood floors and on concrete floors, with countless teachers.

I consider myself a dancer, not because of my major, the classes I have taken, or the styles I have been taught, but because of the ways my body reacts to this world. I consider myself a dancer because I choose to include dance in my everyday life, in my thoughts, in the choices that I make.

At Denison, I have felt challenged and encouraged, both physically and mentally. This continuous growth that the department has helped foster is what motivates me to give back to the department as a Dance Fellows!

Alex Rivera

Alex Rivera ‘19

Dance, Philosophy and Economics Triple Major

Lima, Peru

  • Modern/Postmodern Dance I
  • Modern/Postmodern Dance II
  • African/Diasporan Dance II
  • Dancing Gender & Sexuality
  • Somatics I
  • Dance as Art Form

Growing up in Lima I was introduced to dance since my first teenage party at age 13. I would see all the kids dancing with each other and having a great time together. However, when I asked a girl out to dance and I gave it a go, I realized I was stiff as a rock and had no idea what to do. Since then, I subconsciously tried out all the dance extra-curricular activities from middle to high school. Dance group competitions between houses (as in Harry Potter), Peruvian dances, and many other workshops. I was never satisfied with my ability to dance and when I graduated from high school, I had given up on dance and would only dance in social spaces.

Then, I came to America. Immediately, I was severely unsatisfied with the low amounts of dance I was doing. I joined Sazón, the Latin Dance group in Denison, danced for a while and watched the dance performances. That kept me going for a while. In my sophomore year, I took my first Modern/Postmodern Class with Michael Morris and was so confused about what dance really was. I still remember when, on that semester, I saw Hailey Bruce's Senior Concert and I absolutely fell in love with dance. I wanted to be on that stage. I realized I was not going to stay seated and dance was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Much to my surprise, I would end up performing, dancing with those same women I once saw and so deeply admire.

Now, I finally feel like a fully fledged dancer. I'm looking into new ways of moving through time and space and explore what dance is and what it means in this world of moving bodies. I am excited to do research next year and to keep learning and, to keep dancing!

Life Fellow

Kathleen Dean

Kathleen Dean

Dance Major

From Granville, OH

  • Ballet II, III
  • Contemporary II, III
  • Japanese Dance
  • Capoeira
  • African/Diasporan
  • Experiential Anatomy/Kinesiology
  • Dance Improvisation and Composition
  • Women and the Arts
  • Movement Analysis
  • Seminar in Production
  • Seminar in Choreography

I am a resident of Granville, with a biology background and ballet training. I have a long-standing relationship with the Denison University Dance Department, where I expanded my ballet based movement vocabulary with coursework and performance experiences to strengthen my science/dance integrative education. Through my relationship with the Dance Department, I developed invaluable skills for somatic work within the community, including with the Central Ohio Youth Ballet, Hospice of Central Ohio, ministry for confidential care for people in difficult life situations, and at Denison, as adjunct instructor in the Dance Department. I am a graduate of The Centre for BodyMindMovement, Somatic Movement Educator program, and I offer class or individual sessions in body/mind movement integration.

I am deeply honored to be a Life Fellow of the Dance Department. My relationships with faculty, staff and students at Denison University continue to greatly enrich my life.

Posted Date 
Monday, September 18, 2017

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Move. Moved. Moving.

The Department of Dance presents a spring dance concert “Move Moved Moving” featuring works by Visiting Artist Molly Shanahan ’90 and Sandra Mathern.

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