Sharon Garber

Photo of Sharon Garber
Sharon Garber
(269) 387-5841
3119 Dalton Center, Mail Stop 5417
Mailing address: 
Department of Dance
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5417
Office hours: 

  • M.F.A., Ballet, Texas Christian University, 1992
  • B.F.A., Ballet, York University, 1975

Western Michigan University Professor Sharon Garber received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet in 1975 from York University in Toronto, Ontario. She continued her dance training in New York City with Melissa Hayden, Finis Jhung, Wilhelm Burmann and David Howard, as well as full scholarships with Dennis Wayne’s “Dancers” School and the Christine Neubert School at Carnegie Hall. As a professional dancer, her 12-year performing career was with Maryland Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Des Moines Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet and Dallas Ballet plus appearances as a guest artist with numerous regional ballet companies. Garber has taught all levels of ballet at private studios, in private and public school systems and at the university level as well as guest residencies, master classes, festivals and workshops nationally and internationally (China, Taiwan and Canada). For five years she was a member of the ballet faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1992, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ballet from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and served there as an occasional member of the graduate dance faculty and as project coordinator of the department’s outreach program, New Century Danscene.

Garber joined the faculty of Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance in 1994. She has served as rehearsal director for the ballets performed in the department’s Great Works Project. These include a wide range of balletic styles in masterworks by Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Alonzo King and Antony Tudor. She has also restaged and adapted ballet repertoire for the Great Works Project from the Romantic and Classical eras. Garber’s choreography has been seen throughout the United States as well as in China, Taiwan, Portugal and Canada and has received adjudicated recognition at American College Dance Association and Regional Dance America.

Besides membership in numerous organizations and unions, Garber is a founding member of CORPS de Ballet International, an organization for ballet teachers in higher education, having served as president-elect (1998-2000), president (2000-02) and past-president (2002-04). In 2005, the Board of Directors presented her with the organization’s Outstanding Service Award. She has served on the Board of American College Dance Festival Association (2005-08), was the international member of the peer review team evaluating Ryerson University’s Theatre School in Toronto, Ontario (2004) and adjudicated the Ohio Dance Festival (2001). Garber has been invited to present her research nationally (New York City; San Francisco; Fort Worth, TX; Aspen, CO; Jacob’s Pillow, Beckett, MA.) and internationally (Toronto, Edinburgh, Taipei, Chengdu, Athens). She has been published in “Dance Teacher” magazine and in the refereed journals of the National Dance Alliance and the International Conference on the Arts in Society. In 2015, the Dean presented her with the CFA Recognition Award for Excellent in Teaching.

Garber is married to David Curwen, also a member of the WMU dance faculty and a former professional ballet dancer. They have two daughters, Shelby and Darci.