Western Dance Project

  • Rekenen, choreographed by Liv Schaffer.

  • "Threshold" choreographed by Christian Denice for Western Dance Project

    "Threshold" choreographed by Christian Denice for Western Dance Project

  • Diphthong, choroegraphed by Brian Enos

  • Western Dance Project performing at the Kalamazoo Public Library.
  • It's the Storm in Me, choreographed by Joshua Manculich.



The Western Dance Project is the touring ensemble of the Western Michigan University Department of Dance. This group of 10 to 12 students provides concert performances, lecture-demonstrations and master classes in schools, community centers and at festivals statewide, regionally and nationally. Each year students learn repertoire from guest choreographers from across the United States. Department of Dance alumni are also engaged to create dances for the ensemble.


2018-2019 WDP Featured Guest Artist  - Katarzyna skarpetowska 

Katarzyna Skarpetowska


Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and received a BFA from the Juilliard School in 1999 under artistic director Benjamin Harkarvy.  In 1992, at age 15, she was the youngest cast member of the broadway show, "Metro", directed and choreographed by Janusz Jozefowicz.  Kate was a member of Parsons Dance from 1999 until 2006 where she performed lead roles in the company’s repertory including the iconic "Caught".  From 2007 until 2014, she danced for the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performing at many reputable venues such as New York City’s City Center, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.  Over the years, she repeatedly appeared as a guest artist first with the Battleworks Dance Company and then the Buglisi Dance Theater and in 2007, she was one of two featured dancers during the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.  In 2008 she toured Italy with "Why Be Extraordinary If You Can Be Yourself", a show by Daniel Ezralow.  Skarpetowska has worked as a repetiteur and assistant choreographer to Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons and Robert Battle setting works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Introdans, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, Ballet Austin, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  As a choreographer, she has been repeatedly commissioned by Richmond ballet, Parsons dance and Houston Metdance, as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, Big Muddy Dance Company, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Hubbard Street 2, Bruce Wood Dance Project, and the Juilliard School.  For her choreographic achievements, Kate was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” in 2016 and was nominated for a NY Dance and Performance Award, the Bessie, in the Emerging Choreographer Category in 2017.  In 2018, Kate choreographed an Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of "Orfeo and Eurydice", in collaboration with Director Ron Daniels and Maestro Pierre Vallet.  Skarpetowska is also a freelance teacher holding workshops throughout the world.  Kate has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, American Ballet Theater summer program, School of American Ballet, Boston Conservatory summer program, Key West Modern Dance, Peridance, Washington Ballet @thearc and UC Irvine.  She resides in New York City.




performances 2019-2020

To be announced.


Past Performances

Under the direction of dance professor Whitney Moncrief, ensemble members have represented WMU at the Oakland Dance Festival, the east-central and national conferences of the American College Dance Festival Association, Michigan Dance Council Dance Day, RADFest and more.

The Western Dance Project was invited to perform in the Dance Chicago 2009 Grand Finale concert in Evanston, Ill. Dec. 12, 2009. This concert featured dances that represented the "best of festival" from Dance Chicago's two-week festival earlier in the year. The Western Dance Project performed the dance "Yes, and…," created by Chicago choreographer Autumn Eckman. "Yes, and…" was one of 13 dances selected from nearly 300 in the two-week festival. The creation of the dance was commissioned by the Western Dance Project as part of its touring repertoire.

For more information about the Western Dance Project, contact Artistic Director Whitney Moncrief at whitney.moncrief@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5826.