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Blugold Spotlight featuring Ariella Brown

| Jesse Yang (story + video)

So, you think you can dance? UW-Eau Claire’s sole dance professor is stepping with rhythm to the tune of four dance genres offered in the music and theatre arts department: ballet, modern, jazz and tap dance.

Ariella Brown, lecturer in dance at UW-Eau Claire, joined the Blugold family in 2017. Many of her students are majoring in disciplines not related to performing arts, but they all share a common love and appreciation for dance.

“I get students from kinesiology, from English, from journalism, and it’s kind of nice to see what they learn in my class can translate over to their majors and to their life,” Brown says.

Some students are eager to enroll in a dance class for exploration while others pursue a dance certificate with plans to couple their dance skills with their degree.

“There are so many different levels and opportunities for a dance professional. You can be a professional choreographer, a performer, a teacher, and there are so many disciplines — you can go work on a ship, you can start up your own studio,” Brown says.

With the new Pablo Center at the Confluence, Brown says dance students will perform in a new, professional space.

“I’m excited how the new space will shape the dance program. We have eight student choreographers. I’m always preaching to my students that they need to choreograph more. This gives them agency to do that because now they have a professional place to do that in,” she says.

Brown is excited about the chance to collaborate with students and faculty in the music and theatre arts department.

“There are students who haven’t taken a class with me, but, through these collaborations, learn choreography, and they have a renewed interest in dance. It’s also a great way to pull different students majoring in different disciplines and work with them,” Brown says.