Ohio State Dance congratulates Associate Professor Melanye White Dixon for receiving the 2017 OhioDance Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Dance Education. The award was presented by Ohio Dance Executive Director Jane D’Angelo at the OhioDance Festival Performance Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the BalletMet Performance Space.
“The field of dance education in Ohio has been enriched by Dr. Dixon's outstanding leadership. We are thankful for her many contributions over the years to OhioDance serving as a board of directors, and a valued advisory board member,” said D’Angelo. “Her role at The Ohio State University Department of Dance and as an acclaimed author is exemplary. Her vision and enthusiasm are truly inspiring to those attending the festival and the dance community as a whole.”
“It is extremely gratifying to be acknowledged for one’s life’s work and to know that the dance education community appreciates my commitment to nurturing artist/educators and advocating and promoting dance in education and the community,” said Dixon. “I love what I do and agree with the following quote by Mahatma Gandhi: ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’”
Dixon began her professional dance preparation at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and as a merit scholarship recipient at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She is an accomplished performer and served as a choreographer, performer and master teacher for the International Festival of Dance Academies at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts in Wan Chai, China. Dixon has served on the board of directors for American Dance Guild, OhioDance and as a cultural competence consultant for the Ohio State Board of Education. She has been honored as a Temple University Alumni fellow and maintains an active schedule presenting research at national conferences and promoting community outreach and engagement in the arts. Dixon has received several grants for her research including a Critical Difference for Women Professional Development Award, College of the Arts Faculty Development Grant for research in multimedia computer technology for dance documentation, Arts and Humanities Publication Grant and an Arts Initiative Grant to support the Ohio State Dance Uptown Young People’s Concert. She has done extensive research on African American women in concert dance, and her work has been published in SAGE, Dance Research Journal, Black Women in America, African American Dance in History and Art, African American Lives and Harvard University's African American National Biography Project. She is author of Marion Cuyjet and Her Judimar School of Dance: Training Ballerinas in Black Philadelphia (2011). Dixon is the coordinator of dance education and teaches courses in Dance Pedagogy and Dance History.