Just as every piano, every violin, and every flute require an individual touch to create the desired sound, every dancer’s approach to technique will vary to suit his or her own instrument. We strive to know and understand the dancing body, and to build a functional technique that makes space for creative, expressive, and textured performance.
Dean Vollick is an associate professor of dance, and joined the Conservatory in 2007 to teach ballet technique to both dance and theater students.
Vollick discovered ballet as a first-year student in the Drama Department at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The following year, he entered the ballet program at George Brown College/Lois Smith School of Dance in Toronto and studied with prominent Canadian teachers including Lois Smith, Glen Gilmour, Luc Amyot, and Mavis Staines, the artistic director of Canada’s National Ballet School. For three summers he was a scholarship student at the Banff School of Fine Arts, where Laura Alonso acted as his mentor. There, he met David Earle, one of the founders of Toronto Dance Theatre, who fostered in him a love of Graham and Limón technique.
His career as a dancer spanned two decades and included work with Ontario Ballet Theatre, Ballet Omaha, Ballet Florida, Toronto Dance Theatre, Omega Dance Theatre, and Dance Theatre David Earle. Dancing with these companies, and as a freelance artist, Vollick toured Canada, the United States, and Europe.
In 2001, he completed the two-year Teacher Training Course for Professional Dancers at Canada’s National Ballet School and graduated valedictorian of his class. That summer, he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Ballet and continues to be an instructor in their annual Summer School of Excellence, held at SUNY Purchase. For four years, Vollick was a full-time teacher at Boston Ballet, where he served as principal of their groundbreaking Citydance outreach program for three of those years.
He continues to work as a freelance teacher and choreographer and has been a guest instructor for US Ballet Associates, Jessica Lang Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. He has served on the faculties of Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Tufts University, and Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre and is a certified Gyrotonic® instructor.