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​Dance Theatre is a diverse dance company at Miami University performing in dance styles such as contemporary, modern, ballet, jazz, and sometimes tap. Each semester, the company presents a concert, showcasing innovative and diverse choreography, utilizing the talents of guest artists, faculty, and students. The concerts occur toward the end of each semester and typically happen in Wilks Theater (Armstrong Student Center) or in the Gates Theatre (Center of Performing Arts), all on the Oxford campus. 

Dance Theatre prides itself in having a strong presence in the community. Company members have been invited to perform at events both on and off campus, including basketball games, Dance Marathon, and at The Oxford Community Arts Center. These events provide company members with numerous opportunities to perform throughout the year. 




Lana Kay Rosenberg, an Associate Professor in the Miami University Sport Leadership and Management Department (SLAM), is the Director of Dance Theatre and the off-ice dance coach for Miami’s two Intercollegiate Synchronized Skating Teams, and sometimes serving as a performance coach and choreographing for the Miami’s Open Collegiate Team.  She founded the National Dance Association’s Choreography Evaluation Project and has served on the Executive Boards of the American Dance Guild, the National Dance Association, the American College Dance Association, and OhioDance. After receiving a Fulbright to Brazil in 1990 and in 1993 named an American Cultural Specialist to Brazil for the USA, she has continued to teach and choreograph for various companies, academies and dancers there. As Dance Theatre director she teaches, choreographs for the company, and guest teaches across the country and in Brazil for dancers and dance companies.


Dance Theatre encourages growth in our company members by motivating creativity and empowering our dancers to take on challenging roles. Through consistent dance technique classes, collaboration with guest artists, and opportunities to learn from artistic communities outside Miami, we create diverse performances that are meant to inspire our audience members.

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Provide a community where dancers feel loved, and free to be who they are

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Provide a environment for company members to be creative and grow as a dancer


Empower both members and our community to pursue their artistic endeavors


Orchesis, originally defined as the art of dancing in the Greek chorus, became the name of dance groups on college and university campuses, beginning around 1929.  The first degree program in dance in the United States began in 1926 at the University of Wisconsin and the graduates of this program spread across the country.  Grace (Clapp) Dome, one of these graduates, came to Miami University, eventually founding Orchesis in 1933, we believe.

In the early 1950s and 1960s, the Orchesis company performed in the Old Herron Hall gymnasium where they produced a senor recital each year, bringing in curtains, lighting, seating, and music played on records.  Reports indicated that it was very “professional” partially due to the hard work of then-company director Olga (Bibza) Adkins.

For many years there was both a senior and a junior Orchesis, probably separating those who were new to the group or had less experience from the more experienced dancers.  Nationally Orchesis, which began as a group of women, had men join.  A book, that the Orchesis initiates signed, beginning in 1957, was found in the Phillips Hall Library (long gone); the book is still used today and contains men’s names from those early years.

So, from a gymnasium in a long-gone building to a performance or two in the old 1809 room in the Shriver Center (long before a major renovation), to the Gates-Abegglen Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts (CPA), to Studio 88 (CPA), to Presser Auditorium (where Martha Graham’s Dance Company is reported to have performed in the1940s), to Hall Auditorium, to the Wilks Theater in the Armstrong Student Center (ASC), the current company has a history of turning whatever performing space we are using, into a venue for artful, innovative performance.  For over 87 years, Orchesis, renamed Dance Theatre in the early 1970s, has a performance history on the campus of Miami University.

For over 30 years, Dance Theatre had a strong outreach program through its Dance Repertory (Rep) Group, generally made up of 6 to 8 dancers, all members of Dance Theatre and very strong in dance improvisation. Thousands of school children, who normally would not have the opportunity of being exposed to the arts, benefited from the Rep Group’s lecture/demonstrations provided each year, primarily in Butler County elementary schools. These interactive presentations provided many children the opportunity to physically experience the beauty and joy of dance. Dance Theatre still strives to expose underserved students in Butler County to dance by providing free tickets to our concerts in hopes that by experiencing live performances the students will be encouraged to dance in some way.

Besides the twice-a-year concert series (generally 2 concerts at the end of each semester), Dance Theatre has performed at numerous campus and community activities over the years: from TV shows to dancing in a geodesic dome (put up by the Architecture Department for an Earth Day celebration) to POTH, to Dance Marathon, to Diwali, to the Holiday Festival in Uptown Oxford, to nursing homes, to Architecture end of semester showings, to Psychology and Art projects, the Dance Theatre company has established a strong performing presence on Miami’s campus.

Using the talents of guest choreographers, guest designers, company members, and Director Lana Kay Rosenberg, the concerts are diverse presentations sometimes incorporating the talent of guest vocal groups.  Dance Theatre has always prided itself on being a company presenting diverse work and it continues to do so by bringing the excitement of many dance genres and thematic material to each performance venue (with a dance sometimes becoming a site-specific work designed for the venue).  From modern and contemporary dance to jazz, to modern ballet, and sometimes to tap, the company has always been, and continues to be, very theatrically oriented. 


107A Phillips Hall

420 S Oak Street

Oxford, OH 45056



Telephone: 513-529-2730

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