A passion for dance, a call to teach
For Ariella Brown, dance has always been her passion, but not always her full-time job. While working behind a desk during the day, and carving out time in the evening to dance, she realized those few hours would never satisfy her.
She made the decision to get an advanced dance degree with hopes of someday teaching at the university level. In graduate school, she taught students who wanted to integrate dance into their overall college experience (whether they pursued it professionally or not). Brown found satisfaction in helping students discover their creativity, mind-body connection, and joy for dance.
Now, as Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Dance at PLU, Ariella Brown oversees multiple dance performances throughout the year in addition to the dance minor program. Her decision to come to PLU was easy.
“I was struck by the passion and thoroughness of the students and faculty when I interviewed,” Ariella remembered. “Everyone seemed eager to engage in meaningful conversation, and seemed generally interested in growing the dance program. There was also so much kindness and passion, which are two qualities I strive for in my pedagogy.”
In addition to the community, the location was a strong draw. Brown’s friends and family are in the area and the PNW is in her blood. She even labels herself as a bit of Pacific Northwest “snob.”
“I am in love with the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy the culture of the big city with the accessibility to the outdoors,” Brown explained. “I’m looking forward to being able to go to festivals, see professional dance companies perform, take classes, drink coffee, explore new restaurants, walk along the shore, hike, and visit family and friends.”
But, in the end, the promise of a strong dance community that was ready to grow was what brought Brown to PLU.
“I am looking forward to working with all these people who have a common goal of growing the dance program into the best it can be,” Brown explained. “I know that with the help of everyone involved, we can make it happen.”
Brown will be teaching all dance related courses for the upcoming terms. In the fall, she will teach Introduction to Dance, Jazz 1, Modern 1, and Ballet 1. She will also serve as the Director of the Spring Dance concert, “Dance Continuum,” where students can perform in faculty, guest, and student choreography.
Faculty Fun Facts
- I like to karaoke (“Build Me Up Buttercup” is my go to song)
- I knit (simple stuff: hats, scarves, booties)
- I have a cat named “Bubba”
- My family is located throughout the PNW – Seattle, Portland, Salem, and Corvallis