Emily Wright

Assistant Professor of Dance
Affiliated Departments
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As a movement educator and creative catalyst, I synthesize complex ideas across multiple disciplines to generate new pathways for discovery and growth.   

Emily Wright joined the Conservatory in 2020 and is an assistant professor of dance and instructor of experiential anatomy. Her teaching specializations include modern dance technique, contact improvisation, intergenerational community dance, dance history, dance pedagogy, and arts-based research.

Wright began her training at Dancers Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee, in German expressionist and Graham-based modern techniques under the direction of Irena Linn. From 2008–2018, she was associate professor of dance at Belhaven University, where she founded and directed Mississippi’s first M.F.A. in dance. Wright has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, including the National Dance Education Organization, the World Dance Alliance (Americas), and the Dance Studies Association. She is also the author of the forthcoming book Dancing to Transform: How Concert Dance Becomes Religious in American Christianity (Intellect Press 2021).

As a socially engaged artist, a key part of Wright’s work is developing collaborative environments in which all voices, bodies, and experiences are valued and seen. She has developed interdisciplinary courses for arts-based community engagements, planned statewide conferences that bring together multiple community partners in the arts, and created choreography that partners pre-professional dancers with community members ages 5–65.

Wright received her B.F.A. in dance from Belhaven University (2002), an M.F.A. in performance and choreography from Arizona State University (2007), and a Ph.D. in dance from Texas Woman’s University (2016).

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • William Winter Scholar for the Humanities (Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, 2017)
  • Excellence in Higher Education Award (Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, 2016)

Notable Recent Works

  • National Water Dance Project Choreographer (2020)
  • James Madison University Guest Artist (2019)
  • University of Virginia Guest Artist (2019)