Photo of Duane Cyrus in a red shirt, smiling. Skycrapers in backgroundI am sending each of you a very warm welcome to the School of Dance at the University of Arizona. We have a thriving program with a large cohort of undergraduate and graduate students. Our students are the pride and joy of the School of Dance! They are focused on realizing excellence and success in all of their academic and creative endeavors. Our roster of successful alumni is proof. Just ask anyone who attends one of our performances in the awe-inspiring Stevie Eller Dance Theatre! The concerts presented throughout the year are a highlight for our community and represent learning and creativity at its finest come to life.

The success of our students is supported by a world-class faculty with diverse perspectives on Dance. And that diversity of perspective is a key factor for success in a solid dance training program like the one at the University of Arizona. In fact, I often speak to young students about articulating their individual perspectives while respecting and understanding the perspectives of others. I make note of something I call “The Five P’s of Perspective:”

Position—knowing where you are within a culture, field, or community;
Purpose—the reason why the artist creates—the raison d’être or reason for being;
Practice—the overall approach to how an artist lives in the world. It includes mindfulness and wellness;
Process—how an artist creates their work. The actual components of the creative act; and
Presentation—this is how the creative product is shared with the world. The manner through which the artist expresses and delivers their creative voice.

I strongly believe that educators are in the business of helping students build and understand a perspective that is unique to the student and helps to shape the launching pad for a successful career in the arts.

I welcome you to attend our performances and keep coming back to see how future leaders in Dance are shaping perspectives (theirs and ours!) and launching their careers right here in Arizona!

Thank You and Dance On!

Duane Cyrus
Director of the School of Dance