Melanie George

Director, Dance Program
Department of Performing Arts

  • Melanie George is the Dance Program Director at American University. Melanie holds a BA in dance from Western Michigan University, an MA in dance and Graduate Certificate in Secondary Teaching from American University (AU), and the Certified Movement Analyst degree from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. While attending AU, she served as Liaison to the Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and was awarded the Multicultural Affairs Leadership Award. Melanie has an extensive teaching history including positions with The Roeper School for the Gifted and Talented, the Washington School of Ballet, and as Assistant Professor of Dance and Dance Education Program Coordinator at Kent State University. Her performance history includes Dance Nonce Dance Company, Boris Willis Moves, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and the Kennedy Center Honors. Her choreography includes works for concert dance, theater, musical theater and voice. Her choreography has been presented in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. Melanie has presented her research on jazz dance improvisation and pedagogy throughout the U.S., in Canada and Scotland. She recently co-authored the chapter Imbed/In Bed: Two Perspectives on Dance and Collaboration with Joan Meggitt for the book Working Together in Qualitative Research, published by Sense Publishers. At American University, Melanie teaches courses in modern, jazz, musical theatre dance, dance appreciation and dance composition and directs the Spring Dance Concert.
  • Degrees

    MA, Performing Arts: Dance, American University
    BA, Dance, Western Michigan University

  • CAS - Performing Arts
  • Katzen Arts Center - 226

  • (202) 885-3433 (Office)
  • Send email Profile UserID

  • To request an interview for a
    news story, call AU Communications
    at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

 My recent research has focused on the pedagogy and performance of jazz dance and it’s connection to jazz music and improvisation.

Professional Certifications

  • 2008, Certified Movement Analyst, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies
  • 2003, Graduate Certificate in Secondary Teaching, American University

Professional Presentations

  • 2010,  Paper Presentation/Panel Member, Progress and Complacency: A Post-Racial Dance Education?  Paper Title: Reconstruction:  Reconciling the Role of the 21st Century Educator within a 20th Century Paradigm".  National Dance Education Organization 12th Annual Conference, Phoenix Arizona
  • 2009, Working Together in Qualitative Research: The Troubles and Possibilities of Collaboration (Panel), Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, Dayton, OH
  • 2009, Panel Chair, Living the Dream – How to Have a Career in a Major Dance City, National Dance Education Organization 11th Annual Conference, New York, NY
  • 2009, Presenting as a Leader—the Psychology of Message and Media, Laban Movement Analysis presentation with Karen Bradley and Karen Studd, Rawlings Program at the University of Maryland Academy of Leadership
  • 2008, Panel Chair, Running the Race: Navigating the Tenure Track in Dance in Higher Education, National Dance Education Organization 10th Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD
  • 2007, Better Git It Into Your Soul: Jazz Dance and the Pedagogy of Authenticity(Workshop), Crossing Boundaries Conference, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 2006, Point of Departure: Jazz Dance, Jazz Music and Improvisation (Technique Class), National Dance Education Organization 8th Annual Conference, Long Beach, CA
  • 2006, Navigating the Culture of Higher Education (Panel), National Dance Education Organization 8th Annual Conference, Long Beach, CA
  • 2006, Point of Departure: Jazz Dance, Jazz Music and Improvisation (Workshop), International Conference on the Arts in Society, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 2005, Active Citizenry: Improvisation, Jazz Dance, and the Creative Process (Workshop), National Dance Education Organization 7th Annual Conference, Buffalo, NY
  • 2005, Active Citizenry: Improvisation, Jazz Dance, and the Creative Process (Lecture), Performing The World 3, Tarrytown, NY

Professional Services


2010 - Guest Artist, School of Theatre and Dance, Kent State University, read guest artist profile

2008 - Guest Artist, Department of Dance, University of North Carolina - Charlotte

2005-2007 - Artist in Residence, Northeast Ohio Dance Company, Wadsworth, Ohio

1996-1997 - Choreographic in Residence, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI


  • 3 Short Tales of Love [quintet, jazz], 2010
  • Book Chapter: "Imbed/In Bed: Two Perspectives on Dance and Collaboration," (co-authored with Joan Meggitt). The Collaborative Turn: Working Together in Qualitative Research, Ed. Walter Gershon. Boston: Sense Publishers, 2009
  • MingusAmongUs (Shape Change), [sextext, jazz], 2008
  • Four On The Floor, [quartet, jazz], 2007
  • The Principle of Moments, [15 dancers, modern], 2006
  • Swingin’ With Someone, [12 dancers, jazz], commissioned work, 2006
  • Motor City Serenade, [Septet, jazz], commissioned work, 2006
  • Shiny Exteriors (and Visible Strings), [9 dancers, modern], 2005
  • -Vs-, co-choreographed and performed with Kimberly Karpanty, [duet, jazz], 2004
  • Floribunda, [septet, modern], 2004
  • Providence, [solo, modern], commissioned work, 2003


  • 2003-2004, Company Member, Boris Willis Moves, Washington, DC
  • 2002, Kennedy Center Honors: Chita Rivera Tribute
  • 1995-1998, Company Member, Dance Nonce, Eastpointe, Michigan
  • Performed the dance works of:  Alana Barter, Trudy Cobb, Laurie Eisenhower, Paula Kramer, Louines Lounis, Pearl Primus, Barbara Sellinger, Sarah Skaggs, Denise Szykula

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2004, Outstanding Artist/Master Teacher Distinction, Ohio Citizens for the Arts
  • 2003, Multicultural Affairs Leadership Award, Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services, American University
  • 1995, Full Circle Choreography Award, Henry Ford Community College, Outstanding Choreographic Contribution
  • 1995, Dance Book Award, Henry Ford Community College, Outstanding Service to the Dance Program

AU News and Achievements