Tauna Hunter is Professor Emeritus and retired Chair of Dance at Mercyhurst University (1994-2019). She began her dance training with Willam F. Christensen and continued at the University of Utah where she earned B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in ballet performance and choreography. She performed as a principal dancer with Ballet West and Dallas Ballet and appeared as a guest artist with Ballet Concerto, Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet Theatre (England), The Pavlova Celebration International Tour and numerous regional companies throughout the United States. During her affiliation with Ballet West, she worked under the guidance of Bruce Marks and Toni Lander and received critical acclaim as one of the company’s leading ballerinas. In 1982, she placed as a semi-finalist at the II International Competition in Jackson Mississippi. In 1985, she co-founded DANSOURCE, a national networking and information service that connected dancers and companies for over ten years. As its’ Managing Director, she was highlighted in “Megatrends 2000” and featured in “Success” Magazine as a trendsetter in the future of the arts. Ms. Hunter has appeared in all the major roles of the classical repertoire and has taught for companies, universities and private schools throughout the United States and in England, Canada and China. She has staged numerous full-length classical ballets and choreographed over twenty-five contemporary works. For 10 years she was a Guest Artist in Residence for the Interlochen Arts Academy summer dance program. She has been honored with the Chautauqua Artist Teacher Award, Erie Arts and Culture Life Time Achievement Award, the University of Utah Legacy Award and was highlighted in the July 2017 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. She currently serves as Chair of the Erie Arts and Culture board and on the Advisory Boards of Ballet Concerto (TX) and Dance Now Miami! (FL). She has also served on the University of Utah Artistic Advisory Council, the National Association of Schools of Dance board and locally acted as artistic advisor to Lake Erie Ballet for eighteen years as well as serving as President and Chairman of the board for the Erie Dance Consortium (Erie, PA) from 2000-2010. Ms. Hunter has been married to Michael S. Gleason for 35 years and they have a 28-year-old daughter, Caitlin. When she is not teaching, coaching or staging ballets, she enjoys traveling with her family, gardening, and golfing. As a breast cancer survivor, she actively supports breast cancer awareness.
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