The WVU Faculty Senate approved the dance major this week, and it will be available to students in the School of Theatre & Dance, beginning in the fall of 2013.
“The College of Creative Arts is grateful to Professor of Dance Emeritus Kacy Wiedebusch for her dedication to WVU Dance over the decades,” said Dean Paul Kreider of the College of Creative Arts. “She certainly helped establish a following and a framework that allows current director Yoav Kaddar to augment a program and implement the new major.
“We are pleased this degree now exists in the state of West Virginia, affording our talented youth an opportunity to experience and major in our vibrant program. There are so many wonderful things happening in dance at WVU led by Dr. Kaddar and Professor General Hambrick. I know our future majors will love this program.”
Kaddar is the director of dance at WVU, where there has been a popular dance minor program for several years. Kaddar is a graduate of the Juillard School, where he earned a BFA and received the Martha Hill Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Dance. His MFA is from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his doctorate is from the State University of New York (SUNY), Albany.
He has performed nationally and internationally as a guest artist and has been a member of such modern dance companies as the Jose Limon Dance Company, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Peter Pucci Plus Dancers and Jacob’s Pillow’s Men Dancers. He has also danced with numerous independent New York City choreographers and has choreographed more than 50 works for dance and theater.
“I would like to put WVU on the map as a dance center for the state and for the region,” he said.
Kaddar is currently presenting “Dance Now!” the annual dance concert at WVU, that will run March 14-15 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16 at 2 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center.
Showcasing the choreography of prestigious faculty members, students and special guest artists, the concert offers audiences an opportunity to see an array of differing dance styles and movement studies.
According to Kaddar, the new Bachelor of Arts degree in dance fills a large void and the need for quality dance education in the state of West Virginia.
“It is the one and only full academic degree program in dance in West Virginia,” he said. “This allows West Virginia residents to stay in state when looking for a dance education at the university level. With the launching of this new major, we are finally getting WVU and West Virginia on the collegiate dance map of fine dance programs around the country and globally.
“As we build our program, I believe that we will not only attract students from West Virginia and neighboring states but also from across the country and abroad.”
Although a new major, dance at WVU has a long history largely due to the efforts of Professor of Dance Emeritus “Mary Kathryne “Kacy Wiedebusch, who was instrumental in sustaining dance education at WVU for more than 50 years.
Through all those years, dance has been of great interest and in much demand by WVU students. Many students have passed through the dance program, graduated and have still kept in touch. For many, their dance education has assisted them in their pursuit of a variety of careers from civil engineering to physical therapy, dance education and athletic training.
Kaddar said there is a thriving dance community locally and throughout the state that looks for role models, something to strive for and a place to continue the years of training that many of these students received during their early and teen years at private studios.
“WVU can finally offer a destination for these young aspiring dancers,” he said. “As we build the program at WVU, we hope to expand and offer a wide variety of courses, not only for those students who are interested in pursuing a performing career, but for those who are interested in related areas such as dance education, science or business.
“An education in dance has a lot to offer to the well-rounded well-educated citizen. We look forward to contributing to the first-class education that WVU students already receive. The new Bachelor of Arts degree in dance opens new opportunities for all students at WVU.”
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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