Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Jeremy Blair

Second Advisor

Nina Nelson


This historical, introspective telling of the Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance examines its development in relation to dance in higher education and dance across the United States. An analysis of the development of dance at Western Michigan University in comparison to other universities and the dance field was conducted by studying professional influences in the field and evolving social, educational, and industry trends. Research from texts written by respected dance scholars was collected, and trade journals were consulted for information regarding current trends in the dance field. Archival research at the Western Michigan University Zhang Legacy Collections Center: Archives and Regional History was completed to develop a historical framework of the department’s development. Interviews from Department of Dance faculty, both past and present, were conducted for first-hand evidence. This historical discourse serves to honor the past and establish a sense of permanence in the innately ephemeral and evolutionary art of dance.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access