Dayna Fox

I have had so many experiences in my life that have and continue to shape my journey as a teacher: from my earliest training in musical theater, to my eclectic career as a professional dancer, and to over 25 years of teaching for the UNCSA School of Dance high school and college programs, and directing its Preparatory Dance Program for young children.

As far as my teaching “style”, I would describe it as traditional with contemporary influences. My early training in the Vaganova technique, combined with 25 years of teaching children in the Preparatory Dance Program, has made me a stickler for correct placement and alignment, developing core strength, understanding the concept, development and application of rotation, and emphasizing the importance of classical line, positions, and aesthetics. Musical phrasing and kinetic movement also play an important role in all of my classes. I believe that a dancer “is” the music and every movement and gesture should reflect its mood and dynamics. I tend to focus more on this with the advanced students, giving combinations that are more choreographic in nature. In each class that I teach, I try to create a positive and stress-free environment, where students can feel at ease and be open to learning. I make it a priority to learn names as quickly as possible, no matter how large the class, so I can connect with each student on a personal level.

The students who graduate from the UNCSA School of Dance ALWAYS stand out from others in their field! I cannot take credit for that, as it is a collaborative effort by an extraordinary team of talented, passionate, giving, and dedicated faculty working towards this goal (it takes a village).

If I were to single out my contribution to this effort, it would be trying to instill a feeling of “self” in my students, and helping them realize how each of them has something unique to offer. This would go hand in hand with creating artists that are versatile and open-minded. I know that I was afforded many opportunities in my own career by always being eager and not afraid of trying something new. This is especially important in today’s dance world, where dancers are expected to know how to move in many different ways. There are so many elements that go into the training of professional dancers, but I feel having pride in the result of hard work, and feeling the joy and love of dance will help carry them through. I believe our job as teachers is to provide them with all the tools and inspiration they will need to ultimately achieve their goals as confident young adults and artists.

Credentials
  • Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theater Training, 1965-1970
    Teachers: Jackie Hardy Wright, Charles Kelly, Gus Giordono, Luigi, Patricia Birch 
  • Ballet Metropolitan (Ballet Met), 1970-1976, Columbus, Ohio
    Teachers and Guest Artists: Tatjana Akinfieva-Smith, Bud Kerwin, Vitale Fokine, Veronica Tennant, Karen Kane, Hazaros Surmeyen
  • North Carolina Dance Theater, 1977-1986, Winston-Salem, NC
    Robert Lindgren, Artistic Director, Salvatore Aiello, Associate Director

Under the direction of Robert Lindgren and Salvatore Aiello, the North Carolina Dance Theater performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. As a small “pioneer” company of 15, NCDT brought dance to the masses and was featured in the June 1980 issue of Dance Magazine as the busiest dance touring company in the country, having provided over 254 public performances that calendar year. During her tenure, Ms. Fox performed soloist and principal roles in such works as Salvatore Aiello’s Clowns and Others and Piano Concerto #1, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante, Pas de Dix, and Scotch Symphony, August Bournonville’s Napoli, Senta Driver’s Resettings, and Vicente Nebrada’s Pentimento.

Career Highlights
  • The opportunity to dance with a small repertory company, tour on a school bus, and perform in 42 states across the US (from Alaska, to Florida, from Maine, to Hawaii…and everything in between). Priceless!
  • Performances at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
  • Performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY
  • Performances at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy
  • Two European tours of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal
  • Every time I hear a success story about one of my “babies” from the Preparatory Dance Program is always my greatest career highlight.
Education

B.F.A. DanceUNC School of the Arts

H.S. Diploma (Dance)UNC School of the Arts