Megan Brunsvold has been teaching, choreographing, and performing throughout the country for the past seventeen years. Now, Brunsvold has taken her talents to Southern Utah University to be an assistant professor of dance in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance. Her experience and talents have landed her this position where she is able to work with students day in and day out, making art through the form of dance.
Originally from North Dakota, Brunsvold received her B.F.A. in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. From there, she went to the University of Washington where she received her M.F.A. While she was finishing her graduate degree in Washington, she saw the job posting for an assistant professor at SUU. Her earlier experience in Utah had already shown her the quality of dance education that was in the state, so she was eager to apply. Brunsvold received the position two and a half years ago and has loved every second at the University.
Brunsvold teaches the following classes:
- DANC 1000 Conditioning & Somatic Practicum
- HONR 1040 Foundations of Honors
- DANC 1100 Ballet I
- DANC 1200 Modern Dance I
- DANC 2080 Improvisation
- DANC 2150 Classical Ballet III
- DANC 2160 Modern Dance III
- DANC 2180 Modern Dance IV
- DANC 2500 Jazz Dance II
- DANC 3050 Dance Kinesiology
- DANC 3160 Modern Dance V
- DANC 3180 Modern Dance VI
- DANC 3530 Dance Composition II
- DANC 4300 Dance Ensemble
- DANC 4500 Dance History II/Criticism
- Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar- “Movement & Space”
Over the years, Brunsvold has had a very fulfilling and eclectic dance career. As a performer, she has been able to work with organizations such as the Chamber Dance Company and Chase Dance Theater. She has also had the pleasure of working with Daniel Charon, Alexandra Beller, Hope Clark, and Molissa Fenley among others.
Specific career highlights include dancing with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, as well as presenting some of her scholarship on teaching at the World Dance Alliance in France. She has also been proud to represent SUU by showing her choreography at the American College Dance Association for the past two years.
Within the walls of her classroom, Brunsvold has a goal that no matter the scenario, she wants to explore the relationship between technique and art. She enjoys the unique little ecosystems created in each individual class and is struck by the deep insight and knowledge that each person brings.
“One of the things I love most about being a dance and teaching artist is the intersection between science and art,” said Brunsvold. “As artists, we are continually looking to the body as a source of expression, often about the human condition. But we always have to pair our artistic pursuits with analytical inquiry about how the body functions and moves most efficiently, which is most often dealt with through the lens of science (as in learning about anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics). Yet, each of these things need to coexist in the dancer at the same time.”
“Most thrilling to me are the new questions, both cognitive and physical, elicited by investigation. I strive to create a classroom infused with humor and spaciousness, so that students may embrace the vulnerability that so often fosters growth.”
Brunsvold credits where she is today to her former teachers that have had a huge influence on her life and career. She has been teaching dance in one form or another since high school. Working as a dance artist requires her to train continually, making her a perpetual student. During the lengthy span of her professional career, Brunsvold was always in class.
“Even though much of my artistry was cultivated through engagement with my creative endeavors, to say that my former teachers have had a huge influence on my life and career would be an understatement,” said Brunsvold. “I’ve been engaged with dance education throughout my career, it was while earning my undergraduate degree in dance that I realized the university setting was good fit for me. I knew I wanted to dance professionally first, but I always had a sense that I would return to academia.”
*Writing & Project Management Contributor: Marlie Scott