History

The history of CSU Dance began in the early 20th century. Located in the historic Ammons Hall, dance classes, clubs, and performances were part of the Physical Education Department for Women, headed by Elizabeth Forbes. Following Ms. Forbes' retirement in 1959, Irmel W. Fagan became director of the department, taking dance to new heights as an established program. By the early 80s, when Fagan was succeeded by Elizabeth Hetherington, CSU Dance had a firm foundation, both on campus and in the community, which continued to strengthen through the efforts of dedicated faculty, staff, and students.

In 1983, dance joined the music and theatre areas to form the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, offering a B.A. in Performing Arts. Due in-part to the efforts of Jane Slusarski-Harris, CSU Dance director from 1988 to 2018, the department found its new home in the unique, state-of-the-art facilities at the University Center for the Arts in 2008. Because of substantial growth and development within the three performing arts areas, including a rigorous dance curriculum emphasizing versatility in techinical and performance training, creative process, and pedagogical practice, the B.A. in Dance became available in 2013 and the department was propelled to the status of School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in 2014.