Each year, the Lehigh Valley Dance Consortium, comprised of dance and performing arts faculty from our six member campuses, offers a vibrant calendar of both student and professional dance performances. Through the collaborative efforts of the consortium, students gain access to a rich breadth of dance performances and learning opportunities that they would not necessarily have had direct access to on their home campus. Dance consortium events are open to the public and are offered to LVAIC students at a reduced ticket price. The activities of the dance consortium are supported through LVAIC and by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Of the six colleges three, Cedar Crest College, DeSales University and Muhlenberg College, currently offer degrees in Dance. Lafayette College and Lehigh University offer presenting venues that often bring world renowned dance companies and choreographers to the Lehigh Valley for performances, residencies and master classes.
From Friday, September 25th-Saturday, September 26th, 2015 the LVAIC Dance Consortium celebrated 40 years of collaborative efforts with the Rivers Merge Dance Festival. Learn more about the event and its message on Lafayette College’s website.
Choreographers on Campus
Through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lafayette College is currently hosting the Choreographers on Campus program, a three-year initiative that brings established and emerging choreographers to the classrooms, studios and stages of area colleges. The collaborative program explores the use of dance as an art form and how its creative powers can be infused across a liberal arts curriculum. To find out about upcoming events, visit the Choreographers on Campus Calendar.
In the fall of 1975, a small group of dance educators and dance presenters organized through the LVAIC office, which at that time was under the direction of Galen Godbey. Their vision was to pool resources at the four colleges involved and to bring professional dance performances and master classes to the Lehigh Valley college campuses. They also developed a dance calendar and worked together to promote dance both on their individual campus and on the other campuses. Those dance visionaries were Cynthia Kemmerer, DeSales University; Richard Begbie, Cedar Crest College; Dawn Ketterman-Benner and Tom Tenges, Moravian College; and Connie Kunda, Muhlenberg College. Tom Tenges replaced Galen as the grant writer for several years. Later Deborah Sacarakis, Lehigh University, Ellis Finger, Lafayette and Charles Richter, Muhlenberg College joined the group. Marilyn Roberts replaced Charles Richter and eventually Karen Dearborn would become the Muhlenberg representative to the group. Tim Cowart now represents DeSales University and Robin Gerchman represents Cedar Crest College. Ellis and Dawn recently retired; they both are honorary members of the Consortium. Mary Anne Hoffman now represents Moravian College.
The LVAIC Dance Calendar is still in publication and the group continues to bring outstanding, cutting-edge professional companies and dancers to their campuses for performances, master classes, and residencies.
Distinguished Service Award
The Dance Consortium is a collaborative effort of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent College’s university dance programs. Now in its 42nd year, the Dance Consortium includes Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, and Muhlenberg. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to a member of the Lehigh Valley dance community for outstanding contributions to the advancement of local dance.
The LVAIC Dance Consortium is excited to announce that Lehigh Valley tap dancer and teacher Nicole B. Hockenberry, will receive the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the LVAIC Dance Consortium on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. at Muhlenberg College in conjunction with their Master Choreographers concert presented in the Paul C. Empie Theatre in the Dorothy and Dexter Baker Center for the Arts on the Muhlenberg College campus.
The 2016 Distinguished Service Award was presented on March 18, 2016 to Tim Cowart, Associate Professor and Chair of the Dance Department at DeSales University. Tim is the 25th recipient of the award. To learn more about Tim and his contributions to dance, see his full bio or the Press Release.