Professor Susan Van Pelt Petry was honored at last weekend's Ohio Dance Festival for outstanding contributions to the advancement of dance education. Of the award, Petry says, "I have been working as a dance educator all of my career. Teaching and learning are inextricably tied to my work as an artist and administrator. I'm honored to be recognized for something I love to do and I'm proud tobe on faculty at one of the national flagship institutions for dance in higher education."
Following her early career in New York City, Susan spent a decade running Van Pelt Dance Ensemble, based in Columbus, Ohio. With support from arts councils including seven Ohio Arts Council artist fellowships, the company toured regionally and conducted school residencies. In the mid-90’s she taught at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Taiwan National University of the Arts. From 2006-2015 she was chair of the department, leading the program through semester conversion, a major renovation, and a college restructuring. Previously she was Assistant Dean in the College of the Arts at OSU, Associate Professor at Ohio University, Assistant Professor at OSU, and visiting artist at numerous college and university programs in Ohio. She co-founded the Alliance for Dance and Movement Arts in Columbus in the 80’s and helped to develop the Third Avenue Performance Space in Columbus’ Short North. She served as President of OhioDance and was treasurer of the national Council of Dance Administrators. She is currently secretary on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Dance. Susan earned her MA ‘85 from OSU and a BA ‘79 from Oberlin College.
Petry, who is on a year-long sabbatical after stepping down as Chair of the Department of Dance last year, will return to teaching courses for BFA and MFA students in the fall.
Photo: Susan Van Pelt Petry accepts her award at Ohio Dance Festival