Skip to main content

Tony award-nominated choreographer Marlies Yearby teaches dance to Phoenix schoolchildren for community concert

December 03, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University’s Department of Dance has received a $7,500 National College Choreography Initiative grant to bring Tony award-nominated dancer Marlies Yearby to the Valley as part of the Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre (DART) company of the Herberger College of Fine Arts. The grant, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by Dance/USA, helps ASU Dance provide arts education to underserved areas.

Yearby is the award-winning artistic director of Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater in New York and a former company member of Urban Bush Women. She earned a Tony award nomination for her choreography in the Pulitzer prize-winning Broadway musical “Rent.”

In cooperation with ASU dance students, Yearby will spend three weeks teaching dance to 7th- and 8th-graders from Silvestre Herrera School for the Arts in South Phoenix. She also will choreograph works that the middle school students and ASU dancers will perform at the annual DART community concert, held at 7 p.m., Feb. 29, at the Third Street Theatre, 1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix. The event is free.

Since 1984, DART has created a unique opportunity for children to experience the creation and performance of original choreography by professional dancers.

“The National College Choreography Initiative facilitates important connections among artists, students, faculties and communities connected to universities and colleges across the country,” says Andrea Snyder, executive director of Dance/USA. The national support is helping ASU Dance, one of 35 sites to receive the grant, help younger generations of student artists. The DART project also is supported in part by a Motorola Great Communities Grant and ASU Public Events.

The Department of Dance in the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts is nationally ranked in the top 10 by Dance Teacher magazine. Its graduate program is ranked fifth and its undergraduate program is ranked ninth. The ARCO Performance Arts College Guide calls the department one of the “most highly recommended programs” in the country. To learn more about the Department of Dance, visit

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay