Shenandoah Conservatory has appointed Dorcas Román Rodríguez, M.F.A., as visiting assistant professor of modern dance.
“I’m delighted that Dorcas will be joining our dance division faculty in this visiting position, providing replacement to Ting-Yu Chen while she is on sabbatical during the full 2016–17 academic year,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D. “It was clear to all of us that Dorcas possesses not only an unusually rich artistic and cultural background, but an exceptionally robust pedagogy. She will make a big impact on students, and will add to the wonderfully dynamic and diverse dance faculty we are fortunate to have at our conservatory.”
“Dorcas has a strong balance between a thriving, professional career and the necessary teaching experience to excel in higher education,” said Christina Halpin Chair in Dance; Chair of Dance Division and Associate Professor of Dance Ting-Yu Chen, M.F.A. “She is a vibrant artist, and I know she’ll be an inspiration to the students while maintaining a high standard for excellence. As a member of the faculty, Dorcas is sure to be a colleague who will not only work collaboratively, but passionately to foster an intense caliber of creativity within students and teachers alike.”
A dancer and choreographer native to Puerto Rico, Román has been active in dance and theatre for more than 23 years. She currently serves as artistic director of Dorcas Román Dance Theatre (DRDT), a company which has received high praise from national and international press sources. DRDT explores social, racial and gender issues through dance and theatre, and is committed to making the arts accessible to all communities to raise social awareness.
DRDT continues to teach and perform throughout the United States, especially in Southern California. Previous tours include appearances in Spain, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chicago, New York, Texas, Vermont and California. The company has participated in festivals such as CoolNY, Going Dutch, New Wave Rising, Dance Gallery Festival, MixMatch Dance Festival, White Wave, Southern Vermont Dance Festival and The Chicago Harvest Contemporary Festival. In recent years, DRDT has participated in the Los Angeles dance series at Highways Performance Space, Studio A and the BlackTina Dance Festival in California.
Román has taught in higher education for more than fifteen years. She has taught numerous dance and theatre classes at institutions throughout California, including California State University, Long Beach; Cypress College; Cerritos College; Marymount College; and El Camino College. Her international experiences and cultural heritage infuse not only her performances and choreography, but her approaches to teaching as well.
Román also served as part of the American Delegation for the Internationale Tanzmesse Festival for Contemporary Dance in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2014. She was invited to join the Latina Dance Theater Project by teaching and presenting work in collaboration with Projecto EluzArtes in Vitória, Brazil, in spring 2015. Román served as faculty, dancer and choreographer at the Southern Vermont Dance Festival during summer 2015.
Román will also participate in an artist residency in Greece this fall.
Román received her Bachelor of Arts in theatre at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and her Master of Fine Arts in choreography and performance from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also certified in Hatha Yoga, Shakti Naam, Naam Yoga and Prenatal Yoga.