The University of Arizona’s School of Dance has always been a hub of creativity and excellence, our faculty members are the driving force behind our success. In this update, we would like to highlight some of the recent achievements and contributions of our visiting assistant professor, Thang Dao, as well as our associate professor, Tamara Dyke-Compton, and instructor, Marquez Johnson.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Thang Dao, has been an active force in the dance community, both within and beyond the University of Arizona. Recently, he created a new work for Oklahoma University and a new work for Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to these projects, Thang has also been hard at work creating a new piece for the Phoenix Ballet Golden Swan Gala. He has been recognized for his work, receiving a Gross Family Foundation Grant for a new music composition. Not content to rest on his laurels, Thang is already preparing for his next projects and has a commission with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Furthermore, he was selected as one of the four artists from the College of Fine Arts to research at the School of Arts and Media. Within the University of Arizona, Dao also created a new work for our Fall for Dance concert titled “Nevermore.” The work received an enthusiastic response from the audience, demonstrating the quality and impact of Thang’s contributions to the dance community.
Tamara Dyke-Compton, an Associate Professor in the School of Dance, plays a key role in helping students build professional practices to launch their careers. She teaches Modern, Jazz and Teaching Methods and co-directs the Perry Mansfield Summer Intensive in Colorado with colleague Assistant Professor Christopher Compton, where UA students Taylor Lopez and Liz Lage attended this past summer to study with Jacob Jonas, Creative Director of The Company based in Los Angeles. Both students were offered contracts to work with The Company!
Marquez Johnson is an Instructor in the School of Dance, teaching Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Modern. We welcome Marquez in his first year as a full-time faculty member where he was able to attend the National Dance Education Organization national conference. Marquez was able to gain insight on how to balance teaching and creativity in the intense environment that is higher education. Marquez notes: “…I am starting to understand what my “thing” is in terms of teaching. I am still a work in progress with my choreographic voice but am moving forward with it with less anxiety than I have before.”
We are proud of the accomplishments and contributions of our faculty members, and we are continually inspired by their dedication to their craft. Their achievements not only bring honor to our school, but also serve as an inspiration for our students, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their own pursuits. We look forward to continuing to support the growth and development of our faculty members, as well as our students, as we build a strong and vibrant community of dancers and dance educators.