Director of the Dance Program, Professor of Dance, University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance Cornelius Carter has always had a passion for dance and it is reflected in his list of accolades. Carter was awarded the National Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2001. Carter was also awarded the 2001-2002 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award by the Alabama Alumni Association He’ll never forget how his passion garnered the first of many awards: a scholarship to the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, MO after high school. Carter then joined the Cleo Robinson Parker Dance Ensemble and studied at The Ailey School on scholarship. He went on to explore the international dance scene Carter’s first major appointment was as the new artistic director for one of the first contemporary dance companies and schools in Reykjavik, Iceland. Carter has been a faculty member at the American Ballet Theatre, American Dance Festival (Moscow 1997 and Korea 2002), Bates Dance Festival and Harvard Summer Dance Festival (Dean of Students). He teaches and choreographs for the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Program (2001-present) in New York. In May 1999, he attended the American Choreographers Showcase where he presented and performed his choreography in France, Holland, Austria, Vienna, and Lithuania. Carter continues to set new works on student companies, professional companies and other University dance programs in the United States and abroad. Mr. Carter received his MFA in Dance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He was most recently Guest Rehearsal Director for Dance Brazil 2005 Season in Bahia, Brazil.
Associate Professor of Dance, University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance and Collaboration Coordinator with Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Rita Snyder has danced professionally with both ballet and modern dance companies, including American Festival Ballet, Classical Ballet Theatre, Berkshire Ballet, Tandy Beal and Co., and Clay Taliaferro and Dancers. She received a BFA in modern dance performance and a MFA in ballet teaching various levels of ballet, modern dance technique, and flamenco at the University of Utah, Baltimore School for the Arts, Goucher College, and Towson State University. She has also served as ballet coach for Kennedy Center performances of The Next Ice Age and taught modern dance for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive. Ms. Snyder also has a background in classical music having performed as a violinist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
Professor of Philosophy, University of Alabama Richard Richards, trained by Willam Christensen, founder of San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West, competed in the 1986 International Ballet Competition at Varna Bulgaria. He has performed with major ballet companies in the United States and Europe, including Royal Ballet of Flanders, Norwegian National Ballet, Ballet West, Pacific Ballet Theatre and Sacramento Ballet. He is currently a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama, where he occasionally coaches dancers in the student company.
Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance Qianping Guo is a 2002 Graduate from the University of Arizona in Theatre Arts & Dance, and he specializes in ballet choreography as well as dance theory. Ping’s commitment to dance education is strong and the proof can be seen both in China and the United States. He has been a valuable liaison in international studies, developing dance academic program exchanges between China and the United States. His artistic career achievements have been remarkable; he won a gold medal at the 7th France International Ballet Competition in 1988, and the Chinese students he’s mentored and coached have gone on to win gold and silver medals at international and national ballet competitions.