Laura Katz Rizzo, Ph.D., is a practitioner, choreographer, scholar and pedagogue of ballet. She is currently the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Program Director and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance in Temple University’s Center for the Arts. She has received certification in the Vaganova method of classical ballet pedagogy, which she studied under John White and Margarita de Saá, as well as the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, in which she is certified in levels Primary through 7. She began her ballet training under Hortensia Fonseca at the Maryland Youth Ballet, later studying with Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Melissa Hayden and Allegra Kent at the Chicago City Ballet, Helgi Thomason, Christopher Boatwright and Larissa Sklyanskaya at the San Francisco Ballet, and Ben Stevenson and Rosemary Miles at the Houston Ballet. By the age of twelve, she had performed with The Joffrey Ballet and New York City Ballet, and went on to performed professionally with several classical ballet and contemporary dance companies, including: Ballet South, the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, the Santa Fe Opera Company, and The Ballet Theatre of New Mexico, Dance Theatre X, Opus I Contemporary and Sprezzatura Dance Ensemble. Her repertoire includes principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Les Patineurs, Firebird, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Dark Elegies, Raymonda, Paquita, and many other classical and contemporary ballets.
Dr. Katz has a BA in History and English from the University of New Mexico, an Ed. M from Temple University and a Ph. D. in Dance and Women’s Studies from Temple University. She has trained in archive and oral history work through the Legacy Oral History Project, and written articles, book reviews for dance publications such as Dance Chronicle, Playbill Magazine, and Critical Correspondence: Movement Research Journal. She has collaborated on a range of dance related films, teaching guides, radio and magazine interviews, exhibitions and seminars with The National Museum of Women in the Arts, WRTI Radio, History Making Productions, Dance Teacher Magazine, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the NYCB’s sole photographer, Paul Kolnik. Katz has been invited to present a wide variety of lecture papers, choreographic work and master classes both nationally and internationally at some of the following institutions: The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of the Arts, The University of Utah Department of Ballet, Franklin and Marshall College, Muhlenberg College, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Philadelphia Dance Academy, CORPS de Ballet, International, the Centre Nationale de Danse and the Yale Ballet Company.
In 2012 Katz was awarded the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance’s Teacher of the Year award, and in 2013 was a recipient of the Choreoplan 2013 choreographic commission, an international chorography competition. In 2013 she collaborated with the Temple University Concert Choir and Baroque Orchestra in creating an evening length ballet danced to Phoebus and Pan, a secular cantata by Bach. Her first book entitled, “Dancing the Fairy Tale: Producing and Performing “The Sleeping Beauty,” will be published in Fall 2014. In addition to her faculty position at Temple University, Katz has also held official positions at Mount Holyoke College, Bryn Mawr College, Drexel University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, the Dance Theatre of the Southwest, Ballet Theater of New Mexico, among other institutions.
Unique traits: love to collaborate, love to teach, love to perform, love to research