Joan is the past Board president of the Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library housed in Special Collections at the University of Denver’s main library—Anderson Academic Commons. She earned a BS in Dance Education from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Colorado. Joan taught dance in the Denver Public Schools for 32 years, primarily high school. Always a strong advocate for the Arts in Colorado schools, she helped write curriculum for the Denver Public Schools Dance guide, K-6 integrated Arts Curriculum and the Colorado Department of Education State Arts Plan. Joan assisted the Director of the DPS Shakespeare Festival, and was also dance coordinator. While teaching, Joan also choreographed and costumed some 50 musical productions for DPS students. She taught at the Children’s Dance Theatre with director Vera Sears at University of Denver Lamont School of Music and was co-owner and teacher at the School of Modern Dance. Joan was founding member and Board President of Colorado Contemporary Dance that brought noted professional modern/contemporary dance companies to perform in Denver such as Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp and Dance Theatre of Harlem. As part of the National Endowment for the Arts-Artist-in-Residence, she conducted residencies in Missouri and Ohio for nine years as well as four years as an Artist in Residence for the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities. She has served on Boards of Colorado Dance Alliance, Colorado Association for Health, Physical Education and Dance and Colorado Alliance for Arts Education, among others. Joan trained, mostly in the summers, with notable professional dancers such as Merce Cunningham, Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. In 2010 she was honored as a “Living Legends of Dance” by the Carson-Brierly Dance Library.
Presenting Denver Involvement
Dance Festival Committee