Our featured alumnus for this newsletter is Heather Ahern, CSULB Dance M.F.A., 2005. Heather returned to Long Beach this August as a full-time lecturer in Dance, currently teaching Modern II, Composition I, and Viewing Dance, and creating an original work for the November Faculty Concert. Heather originally came to CSULB in 2002 after earning her B.A. in Dance at Roger Williams University, and after co-founding and choreographing and performing for Groundwerx Dance Theatre in Rhode Island.
After graduating from CSULB, Heather was an Assistant Professor and the Director of Dance at West Virginia University. While directing their program, she not only taught multiple courses in dance but she also updated their curriculum, increased the number of student performances, and increased the number of dance students, particularly male dancers. While this opportunity taught her invaluable information about teaching in an academic setting, after four years she and her husband moved back West to be closer to family and explore new options.
Now finding herself back at CSULB, Heather wants to share with others the quality education she received in the Department of Dance. She feels that her success in West Virginia was largely because “I had a good vision of what a really great Dance Program could be.” Heather mentioned that the variety of teachers and styles, the dance science program, the live music, the amazing designers on staff, and the overall variety of courses available at CSULB truly prepared her to take the lead in a program, even though it was her first tenure-track position. Having been out in the field, she is excited to be back at the Dance Center where she can focus on teaching and creating.