College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

A Change of Leadership in the School of Dance

August 10, 2020

Karen Reedy

New School of Dance Director Karen Reedy.

CVPA Dean Rick Davis announced that Susan Shields has stepped down as Director of the School of Dance. Susan’s seven years of passionate, innovative, and committed leadership have taken Mason’s School of Dance program to new heights. Her dedication and tireless support of our program’s mission and artistic growth have created rich student experiences with renowned artists, such as Lar Lubovitch, Robert Battle, Yao Chen, Nacho Duato, and Kyle Abraham, to name a few. Most importantly, Susan’s drive to reach the most talented students across the country (and beyond) has brought us, year after year, a group of young artists whose passion and commitment match her own. The CVPA community thanks Susan for her leadership as director, and looks forward to her continued collaboration as she returns more fully to the studio.

Dean Davis also announced that, with a unanimous vote by the faculty, Karen Reedy has been named the new Director of the School of Dance. Karen’s life in dance spans performer, choreographer, educator, dance leader, and administrator. As a professional dancer, her versatile international performing career includes extensive work with The Mark Morris Dance Group, Robert Battle, Eric Hampton Dance, DC Dance Theater, Luis Johnson, and Sue Bernhard, among many others. Her choreography has been performed by her own company, Karen Reedy Dance, and is in the repertory of companies and colleges across the country.

These are truly challenging times in our world, higher-education and particularly the arts. With that said, these times also provide great opportunity for creativity and innovation. Our world-class faculty and talented students are re-imagining possibilities for our art form, while pushing our dance field into the future! I am truly honored to lead the School of Dance during this time and and into the next phase, as we continue the incredible trajectory built by my predecessor Susan Shields.

Karen Reedy, Director of the School of Dance

As a dance educator, Karen has been among the faculty at the Juilliard School, the Mark Morris Dance Group, The Washington Ballet, and The Chautauqua Institution. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Dance, and most recently has been a Faculty Senator and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Connecting the School of Dance across the University, she has gained experience and insight with curriculum, institutional initiatives, and priorities, ​as well as on how our School of Dance fits into the greater College and University. Karen will begin immediately and is very excited to lead our School into the future with the full support of the School of Dance faculty and the College.