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Introducing Cathy Young, New Dance Division Director

Boston Conservatory Appoints Cathy Young to Lead Dance Division

"My goal is to honor the Conservatory’s emphasis on classical ballet and modern dance, while expanding the curriculum and programming into new areas, to best prepare our students for the arena of 21st century dance."

(BOSTON—May 19, 2011) Richard Ortner, President of The Boston Conservatory, today announces the appointment of Cathy Young as Director of the Dance Division, following an extensive national search. Young is currently the Chair of the Theater and Dance Department at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, where she built the dance program from the ground up with her colleague, Chris Aiken. She will assume her new post on August 1, 2011.

According to Ortner, "Cathy’s arrival comes at a pivotal time in the Conservatory’s history. Under the leadership of Dean Pat Hoy, our institution is undergoing a thorough program review to revisit, re-evaluate and re-imagine how best to prepare our students for careers of the future. Cathy’s exceptional experience and energy, her passion for dance education, and her ability to mentor young dancers toward the broadest career possibilities will serve us extremely well."

Young, who earned her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Illinois, is nationally recognized as a choreographer and master teacher, having taught and set works at more than 30 colleges around the country. Her return to Boston is a homecoming of sorts as she earned her B.A. from Harvard in 1984, and served as adjunct faculty at Boston University from 1995-98.

"Boston feels like home to me," says Young, who spent the first five years of her dance career in Boston, building relationships with teachers and mentors who fostered her early passion for dance education. "I am excited to return to this city and honored to become the new Director of the Dance Division of The Boston Conservatory. The Conservatory has a solid reputation for excellence in the development of dance artists and I am immensely impressed by the passion, energy and talent of the faculty and students I have met. My goal is to honor the Conservatory’s emphasis on classical ballet and modern dance, while expanding the curriculum and programming into new areas, to best prepare our students for the arena of 21st century dance. We have an exciting opportunity to influence and reshape dance education at a national level."

Young has served on the faculty of the Florida Dance Festival, the international Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia and, for the past ten years, the prestigious Bates Dance Festival in Maine. According to Laura Faure, Director of Bates Dance Festival, "Cathy is extraordinary. She is a well respected and incredibly articulate educator and historian with exceptional skills, professional connections and an infectious personality. She will be able to make an immediate positive impact in redefining the Conservatory’s dance program and bringing it into the current stream of where dance is today."

In addition to teaching, Young has performed with a number of dance companies including Zenon Dance Company and Danny Buraczeski's JAZZDANCE!, touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, and performing in prestigious venues such as the Joyce Theater in New York and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. After graduating from Harvard, she worked with several Boston-based companies, dancing with Marcus Schulkind and Danny Sloan Dance Companies and directing The Roxy Dancers. For the past 25 years, Young has been focused on creating her own work, a dynamic mix of styles and dance forms that intermingles jazz, modern, contact improvisation, social dance and gymnastics. She creates choreography for her own company, Cathy Young Dance, and has also been commissioned by major companies around the country. She has been the recipient of awards and grants from various art foundations.

About The Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its intimate and supportive multi-disciplinary environment, The Boston Conservatory offers fully accredited graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance and theater, and presents more than 200 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. Since its founding in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has shared its talent and creativity with the city of Boston, the region and the nation, and continues to grow today as a vibrant community of artists and educators. For more information, visit

Joyce Linehan 
(617) 282-2510

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