Faculty member, Joan Walton

Courses Taught

  • Beginning Theatrical Dance

Awards and Distinctions

  • SJSU Artistic Excellence Programming Grant, 2018


  • The Academy of Danse Libre (ongoing; choreographer and performer)
  • The Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance (1983-1994)


  • BS in Communications; University of Cincinnati, College of Arts and Sciences
  • MA in Dance Education; Stanford University, Graduate School of Education

What is your hometown?

Marion, IN

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Books, historical costuming, and my cat Lou Lou.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"It's a bad day when you don't learn something new." —My music theory teacher at Butler University, Dr. Osborne

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"Why is that?"

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

I was already working part-time as a choreographer and dance teacher while teaching in the schools, but in the summer of 1983, I wrote my letter of resignation to the Cincinnati Public Schools so that I could go full-time freelancing as a dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher.  

What was a turning point in your career?

Joining with Richard Powers, the Cincinnati vintage dancers, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's Opera Department in the 1980s.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

A librarian.

What are your most important collaborations?

Co-hosting "Historical Dance at Play" workshop with Catherine Turocy (New York Baroque Dance Company), Dr. Gordon Haramaki (Director of SJSU's Collegium Musicum) and Jennifer Meller (SF Renaissance  Dancers); August 2018

Various projects and Vintage Dance Weeks as Assistant Director to Richard Powers (Cincinnati and California)

What is your unrealized project?

Currently hoping to expand last summer's Historical Dance Workshop to include more live music, more funding, and more participants.