UI Dance Company, formerly Dancers in Company, is the touring dance company of the University of Iowa Department of Dance. The group of approximately twelve undergraduate and graduate students tours Iowa and the Midwest from February to June each year offering live concerts, workshops, and lecture demonstrations for audiences of all ages. The company reflects the department's mission by training dancers in performance and choreography while providing them a top-notch, liberal arts education. The company's repertory changes annually and is created or selected from award-winning dances by faculty, guest artists, and emerging student choreographers. Nicholas Leichter, Thaddeus Davis, Gina Patterson, Harrison McEldowney, Charles Moulton, Shapiro and Smith, Peter Anastos, Claire Bataille, Toni Pimble, and Douglas Nielsen are just some of the guests who have staged dances for the company. Recent guests have included: Thomas F. DeFrantz, Kieron Sargeant, and Aaron Samuel Davis.
The company was formed in 1984, when Dance Program Director Judy Allen and Mary Louise Plautz, who directed the Arts Education Outreach program, recognized the great need to bring live dance performances to Iowa audiences. Originally, the company was named Dancers To Go in order to capitalize on the desire to present in a variety of venues. The immediate goal was to merge education and performance through concerts that engaged both children and adults with the power and energy of live dance. Since its inception, the company has brought dance to many communities where a live dance concert is rare.
Throughout its history, the vibrant company has performed in venues in Iowa and expanding far outside our borders, including the Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Puebla, México, the Arts Institute of Chicago, and the 1990 Hong Kong International Dance Festival. The company has toured to numerous cities, including Chicago, Tucson, Wichita, Omaha, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Kansas City, and is recommended by the Iowa Arts Council for its statewide touring roster. Whether performing for audiences that are seeing dance for the first time or those who are already devoted fans, the mission of the company has remained — to unify dance and education, and to enliven and embolden the Midwestern arts community.
Since 1984, UI Dance Company has been offering students an opportunity to present high caliber, innovative dance performances to audiences across Iowa in a variety of settings. The UI Dance Company believes dance can provoke awe, inspire joy, stimulate thought, and create new perspectives. Our mission is to create meaningful connections with the community through the creation of new choreography for Space Place Theater, public touring engagements, workshops, lecture-demonstrations, and site-specific interventions.