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Faculty

Renay Aumiller portraitRenay Aumiller is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University.  She is an artist and scholar specializing in contemporary modern dance technique and the creative process. Her research interests explore the intersection of technical vocabularies, performance, and movement invention with The Franklin Method somatic education. She crafts her choreography to research the human experience, specifically learned human behavior and its effects on locality, collaboration and association. She recently presented her choreography in various festivals including the American Dance Festival, Charlotte Dance Festival, WAXworks in Brooklyn, North Carolina Dance Festival, and the National College Dance Association Conference at the Kennedy center. This past academic year, she enjoyed guest residencies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, North Carolina State University, The Dance Project: The School at City Arts, Arts Together, the Southeast Regional Ballet Association (SERBA), and led workshops at the American College Dance Association Conference at West Virginia University. She will be spending the summer of 2016 researching contemporary dance trends in choreography at the Spoleto Festival USA, Jacob’s Pillow, Vancouver, Canada, and the American Dance Festival.  She continues researching the creative process through her dance company, RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances. Aumiller is currently exploring the integration of the Franklin Method technique into her movement invention for her next choreography project. This evening length dance will premiere in the summer of 2017. Aumiller has received several grants and fellowships to support her artistic and scholarly research. She has received an Elon Faculty Research and Development Grant to pursue her scholastic research in choreographic development, a New Faculty Summer Fellowship to earn her Franklin Method Level 1 teaching certification, and a CATL travel grant in 2013 and 2014 to support her attendance at the American College Dance Festival and to participate in Body, Mind, Centering (BMC) Somatic Movement Educator certification workshops, respectively. She has received the prestigious Ella Pratt Emerging Artist Grant through the Durham Arts Council, a mini-grant to pursue her BMC studies from the North Carolina Dance Alliance, with whom she received the North Carolina Choreography Fellowship.

Diane MastersDiane B. McGhee Valle is the previous Head of Dance Education for the University of South Carolina, where she has also taught dance history and world cultural dance forms. She was awarded the 2011 Top Citation from the National Dance Education Organization for the best national presentation and research in the field of dance. She is pioneer of the Repertory Etudes™ Educational Project, a ten year research and development project providing new access and methods of teaching dance masterworks in American education. Diane has been Dance Education Coordinator and developed the graduate programs for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is Associate Professor Emerita of Dance and Director Emerita of the Arts for Children Interdisciplinary Program at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. She has prepared dancers for teacher licensure in three states and led New York’s unique arts certification for regular classroom and early childhood educators. Diane is former Director of the Southeast Center for Dance Education, an author, artist, and international presenter. She has delivered significant presentations in Montreal, Canada and Cairo, Egypt; she was selected for an International Education Policy Round Table, at Oxford University in Cambridge, UK. Diane’s 1986 choreography Appalachia remains in the repository of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts – Jerome Robbins Dance Division. She has been honored in the City of Boston by Fidelity Investments Corporation for her contribution to youth through education and dance. She has served as Education Consultant to the American Dance Legacy Institute and to the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Dance in Saratoga Springs New York, located at the National Museum of Dance. Diane is recipient of numerous technology, service, innovative program, and research awards, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Dana Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission, General Electric, and many more. She has founded several professional dance institutes and served as board member for local, state, national, and international associations. Her biography is included in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women.

Dr. Mila Parrish, Associate Professor, is the Director of Dance Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is internationally recognized for her work in dance pedagogy and educational technology, and has led over over 100 professional development courses, seminars and workshops thought the US and abroad. She has established numerous longstanding service and community engagement initiatives including Dancers Connect, a free community dance program and pedagogy laboratory, and is the founding President of the North Carolina Dance Education Organization. Dr. Parrish is the received the 2015 Leadership Award from NDEO for her community initiatives and scholarly work that has had a significant impact on the field of dance education.

Michelle Pearson is a choreographer, dancer, and master teacher actively working in many communities throughout her home state of North Carolina and abroad.  She makes dances with people of all ages and abilities including veterans, inmates, retired clowns, preschoolers, politicians, active duty marines, corporate executives, shipyard workers, retired nuns, and professional dancers.  She was a core member of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange from 93-97 before moving into the position of Artistic Associate where she continues to lead dance events for the company today.  Before joining Lerman’s company, Michelle danced with the Doris Humphrey Repertory Company and the American Dance Ensemble in NYC. She was a member of Raleigh’s Even Exchange Dance Theater from 1998-2012 and the current Artistic Curator of the newly formed Black Box Dance Theatre. She has been a guest artist and adjunct faculty at numerous schools including Meredith College, Catholic University, American University, St. Mary’s School, The American Dance Festival, East Carolina University, Peace College, and Arts Together.  Recently, Michelle led a pilot healing arts course for graduate neurology students at Harvard Medical School.   She was recognized by the NC Arts Council with a Choreographic Fellowship in 2002-2004 and was selected by the US Department of State to lead cultural diplomacy missions in both Sierra Leone and China. Michelle is a William Friday Fellow committed to improving human relations in the state of North Carolina.