Sept. 2, 2010/For Immediate Release (High-res images available)
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – Ethan Stiefel, dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) since 2007 and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, announced today that he will step down as dean in 2011.

“At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I will step down as the dean of the School of Dance and shall look to reconnect to some important professional and personal matters,” Dean Stiefel said. “From the moment I was announced as the next dean of Dance, I have been wholly committed to improving the School of Dance and I believe that the extensive progress made speaks for itself.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as dean and for the immense knowledge and experience I have acquired throughout my tenure,” Dean Stiefel continued. “I would be remiss if I did not thank my dedicated students, Chancellor John Mauceri and the entire UNCSA community, and some very generous individuals for their support of my ideas and vision.”

Ethan Stiefel, dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Mauceri named Stiefel “Dean Designate" of the School of Dance in the fall of 2007. Stiefel began working soon thereafter with interim dean and former Chancellor Alex Ewing on facilitating a new direction in Dance, as he worked through a transition from his extensive performing obligations.

Chancellor Mauceri said: “We will sorely miss Ethan’s presence here on the campus. As a fellow artist I perfectly understand that he should continue his art and share it with the world.

“I am proud of all that Ethan has accomplished as dean of the School of Dance,” Mauceri continued. “He has reorganized, restructured and rejuvenated the instructional, administrative and business sectors of the dance school. But more than that, he has affected the entire School of the Arts community with his enthusiasm, his professionalism, his joie de vivre, and more than anything, his steadfast determination to train whole artists, demanding of them the highest level of integrity toward themselves, their colleagues and their school. We have all been inspired by him.”

Mauceri said a search for a new dean of the School of Dance will begin during 2010-11. He added that he is in discussions with Stiefel about an ongoing relationship with the school; Stiefel has said that he remains open to that.

“UNCSA is indeed a unique and special institution and I look forward to helping the school in other ways, in the future,” Stiefel said.

During Dean Stiefel’s tenure as dean, he:

•        Expanded and enhanced the School of Dance curriculum in order to better prepare students for today’s current trends in dance. This included offering more cross-disciplinary training for both Ballet and Contemporary majors, introducing acting classes, introducing more classes to the lower ballet levels, creating Men’s Training Camp, and offering innovative and unique projects for the Intensive Arts period.

•        Presented and programmed first-class student productions, through the continual engagement of industry-leading guest instructors/choreographers and the quality of works presented or newly created, which resulted in increased audience attendance at School of Dance performances by 11 percent. Among these was a newly conceived and choreographed production of The Nutcracker, which was both an artistic and financial success.

•        Provided more performance opportunities for Dance outside of its traditional performance concerts. This included numerous shows and events across the state, New York City and other national destinations.

•        Increased Dance’s fund raising by 186 percent and founded the Dean’s Council for Dance – the first of its kind for any arts school at UNCSA. He also increased the amount of merit scholarships awarded each and every year under his tenure, so that it is now double the amount allocated than when he first entered the position.

•        Increased Dance’s visibility and awareness, through enhanced advertising materials and stories in all major dance publications and through local and national newspaper stories, including a full-page feature article in The New York Times.

•        Clarified instructional methodology and presented a unified approach to teaching. Moreover, he created School of Dance Initiatives to provide students and faculty with a clear vision and a basic philosophical approach for achieving Dance goals.

•        While maintaining a professional performing career, he taught an average of two classes a day, as well as coached and led rehearsals, instilling a strong work ethic among his students and exhibiting a commitment to leading by example.

•        Promoted and supported the expansion of the Preparatory Dance Program and its curriculum.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.