Santa Clara University

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Santa Clara University

SCU Stories

Story in the College of Arts & Sciences

Popalisky photo

David Popalisky

Assistant Professor, Theater and Dance
At a glance:

Director of SCU's dance program helps students create meaning in movement.

As director of Santa Clara's dance program, David Popalinsky helps students transform their dance technique into moving works of art.

From the studio to stage, Popalisky encourages students to explore how to make a dance that says something. "It's more than putting steps together," he says. "Students craft a unique movement that suits them and their idea."

Popalisky, a professional dancer who toured throughout the world and had his own dance troupe in New York City, has been teaching at SCU for 20 years. He keeps up with dancing outside the classroom, recently creating the dance projects "Barred from Life," about exonerated prisoners in conjunction with SCU School of Law's Northern California Innocence Project, and "The Fatherhood Project," about what it means to be a dad.

And his students were with him every step of the way. "They are bright, motivated, and ready to work hard," he says. "Teaching them is a great reward."

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