Skip to main content

 SRU Faculty, Alumni Included on Dance Magazine's Top 25 List 



Jan. 26, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – “This Woman’s Work,” a national collaborative involving SRU dance faculty Ursula Payne and six other African-American female choreographers, has been selected for inclusion in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” list for 2006.

 Dance Magazine traveled “the U.S. and world, looking for star quality, extraordinary artistry or superb potential,” editor Karen Hildebrand said.

 Payne, a 1992 SRU graduate, and the other choreographers were acknowledged for their contributions to the success of the collective's approach to presenting their work.  Princess M’hoon-Cooper and Bridget Moore, former guest artists at SRU, founded “This Woman’s Work” in 2003, which identifies and supports the creative work of African-American female choreographers along with providing opportunities for showcasing their choreography.

The January cover story lauds the women for handling their own management, fundraising, public relations and costume designs. “These emerging black women are intent on getting their work out -- on their own terms,” Dance Magazine reporter Charmaine Warren wrote.

“It is a high honor for my name to be associated with this collective and to have been invited to present two of my original solo dances in the 2003 and 2005 New York concerts,” said Payne, associate professor of dance. “Maintaining a national performance and choreographic record in the professional dance world while teaching full time in the dance department has been very challenging, but well worth the effort.”

 She added, “Being involved in “This Woman's Work” is one of many professional relationships I have developed with talented and visionary artists throughout my career in the U.S. and abroad.  Ultimately, its inclusion as one of the 25 to watch for 2006 is a testament to our ability to organize, promote and represent at the highest artistic level this generation of African-American female choreographers.”

“We are so proud of Ursula and value her as a teacher, mentor and colleague,” SRU’s Nora Ambrosio, dance department chair, said.  “Having seen her and the other choreographers perform as part of “This Woman's Work,” I am not surprised that Dance Magazine has singled them out for its ‘25 to Watch’ list.  The passion, commitment and sheer talent of these women is  phenomenal.”

Payne teaches “Modern Dance,” “Advanced Modern Dance,” “Jazz,” “Dance Kinesiology,” “Repertory,” “Dance Composition,” “Wellness for Dancers” and serves as artistic director for SRU’s dance theater.Payne’s choreography has been presented nationally and internationally, including performances in Mexico, Taiwan and Monaco. She has been a guest artist at schools throughout the United States and abroad. She has received several SRU research and travel grants, as well as choreographic fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts in 2000 and 2002.

#PN, PR, PgN


Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report