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Spring Newsletter

Hello out there,

Perhaps I should say, “Hello in there?” I hope that, wherever you are, you are safe and healthy during these unprecedented and challenging times. I wanted to take a moment to reach out and update you on how things are in our department. Although we have some good news to share, due to the current COVID-19 public health advisories on social distancing, we are cancelling our last departmental concert of the year, the MFA concert scheduled for May. It was a terrible loss to have to cancel the Dance Majors Concert after opening night in March. Undergraduate Dance Majors who had taken three quarters of composition were having their dances fully produced, most, for the first time, and had worked for months on their choreography. Dozens of students were performing in these dances. Parents and friends from around the globe had flown in to see the show. Ticket holders who were unable to use their tickets, or have purchased MFA Concert tickets have the option to:

We rely on ticket revenue alone for our productions. This will have long term repercussions for future productions in coming years. We hope you will consider making a donation to the UW Department of Dance earmarked for production or consider donating the cost of the tickets back to the department. Many of you chose to donate the tickets back. We are grateful for your generosity. With your support, we can continue to present innovative, experimental performances for the community and vital learning experiences for our students once we move beyond this unprecedented and difficult time.  

On a brighter note, the Department of Dance is out of the online gates for spring quarter! I have been moved by the way all members of the faculty and staff are being so flexible. Faculty are moving into courses they have never taught, or completely redesigning existing courses for the online world. While we cancelled technique classes, we were able to move all of the graduate student who normally teach technique classes into our previously existing online courses, Dance 100 “Understanding Dance” and Dance 101 “Dance and the American Experience.” Professor Hannah Wiley and Assistant Professor Rachael Lincoln have jumped bravely into the online world offering to grade students in Dance 100. Acting Assistant Professor Alethea Alexander, agreed to teach a dance history course for us instead of her technique classes and was so inspired by the charge, she has re-built the course! It filled to capacity with our majors and minors. Our music director, Paul Moore, who plays more instruments than I even know about, generously offered his services to the School of Music and is now helping out with two online courses. Morale is fairly high, considering. 

I am teaching a creative process class to 28 students three times a week on Zoom. So far, they have worked in pairs, groups of four and five, and even performed solos for the class. I have noticed tremendous generosity and kindness from them. They are feeling vulnerable right now. We are all happy to be together for this time every other day. I believe, in many cases, we are a lifeline to them.

We have included some uplifting stories here, in hopes of providing you some positive reading for a change. We look forward to seeing you in the future. In the meantime, we hope you are safe and healthy.


Jennifer Salk 


Ways to Give

  • To support our students: The University of Washington has set up the UW Seattle COVID-19 Emergency Student Fund where supporters can help students impacted by this crisis. If you are a student in need or know a student who needs support, please direct them to the Emergency Aid Request Form.
  • To support the Department of Dance: If you would like to support future Department of Dance performances, as well as opportunities for visiting artists, lectures, and scholarships, please consider donating to the Friends of Dance Fund
  • To support UW Medicine's COVID-19's response: Please visit Together We Will to learn more about UW's efforts and how to donate emergency equipment funds, and other resources.