Amy Ernst, M.F.A., is an Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor for the University of Arizona School of Dance. She began her professional career touring internationally for ten years with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as a featured dancer and master teacher. In 1992 she earned her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Washington-Seattle under the direction of Hannah C. Wiley. In Seattle she worked with dance artists Bill Evans, Kitty Daniels, Llory Wilson, William Whitener, Clay Taliaferro, Sarah Stackhouse, and Wade Madsen. As a member of the University of Washington Chamber Dance Company, Ms. Ernst performed in the works of Bella Lewitzky, Paul Taylor, Anna Sokolow, José Limón, and Zvi Gotheiner.
Ms. Ernst joined the University of Arizona School of Dance faculty in 1995, following two years as assistant professor of dance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She teaches all levels of Modern Dance Technique and Choreography, Dance Injury Prevention, Dance Kinesiology, and Biomechanics for Dance. With fellow members of the School of Dance faculty she also team-teaches Dance History, Looking at Dance, Teaching Methods for Dance, and Graduate Forum.
In recognition of her teaching and service to the School of Dance, Ms. Ernst received the following College of Fine Arts awards: consecutive (1998,1999) Awards for Teaching Excellence; Dean’s Commendation for Special Achievement in Teaching (2001-02); the Charles and Irene Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching (2003-04); and the Roy A. and Stardust K. Johnson Faculty Mentoring Award (2009-10). Her research in Dance Injury Prevention has been invited for presentation at several dance science conferences including the 1994 International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) Conference in San Francisco, California, and the 1997 International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, *Sport and Dance (ICHPER*SD) World Congress in Seoul, Korea.
Ms. Ernst was an invited guest teacher in modern dance technique for the 2011 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) National Conference in Minneapolis, MN. She was also an invited presenter for the 2009 (Phoenix, AZ) and 2010 (New York City) NDEO National Conferences. Ms. Ernst’s choreography was produced at the Joyce Theater in New York City as part of the 2010 World Dance Alliance Global Dance Event. She was a guest choreographer and master teacher at the 2009 World Dance Alliance-Americas General Assembly and the 2008 Second Annual Intercontinental Dance Festival, both events hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dance Program. She was an adjudicator and master teacher for the American College Dance Festival Association, Central Region, for both 2007 and 2008. She was also an invited choreographer to the Los Angeles Dance Invitational for 2007 and 2008. During the summer of 2006 she traveled to the 2006 Hong Kong Dance Festival as an invited guest choreographer and master teacher.
Ms. Ernst’s choreography can currently be seen in the repertoire of Thodos Dance Chicago. She is the 2001, 2002, and 2006 winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition, Professional Category. In 2005, she was invited to present her work at the Kansas Dance Festival. Ms. Ernst was chosen as a finalist in both the 2002 and 2004 Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival (Professional Division Competition), held annually in Palm Desert, California. She was invited as a guest choreographer to the Dance Kaleidoscope Showcase during the 2004 National AAHPERD Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, and also to the National Dance Alliance Gala Performance during the 1998 AAHPERD Convention in Reno, Nevada. Ms. Ernst’s work was chosen to represent the Southwest Region in the 2000 National Gala Concert of the American College Dance Festival Association. That same year Ms. Ernst and members of the School of Dance faculty were invited to guest teach for the Dance Programme at Telford College in Edinburgh, Scotland. During the summer of 1997 she participated as a teacher and choreographer in the International Theaterschool Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.