Remembering Performer, Teacher, and Choreographer Jan Van Dyke
Last Friday, July 3rd, one of our state’s greatest champions of modern dance, Jan Van Dyke, passed away after a two and a half year battle with cancer. Jan’s journey in modern dance as a performer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director began a half century ago.
In 1986 she arrived in Greensboro as a doctoral student at UNCG where she taught dance for 23 years — five as the head of the department—nurturing generations of up-and-coming dancers. Along the way, Jan also founded and led the nonprofit Dance Project, which runs the N.C. Dance Festival, the Van Dyke Dance Group and the Dance Project at City Arts.
Jan's legacy lives on in her many accomplished dance students, and in the programs she founded. The Dance Project Board of Directors recently announced the selection of Lauren Trollinger Joyner and Anne Morris as the new Co-Directors of the organization. Jan gave $1 million to create the new venue that will accommodate 200 to 400 patrons for dance, theatrical and musical performances and other events. The Van Dyke Performance Space is expected to be ready in spring 2016.
In 2009, David spoke with Jan about her early beginnings as a young dance student herself at the University of Wisconsin.