Michigan Dance Council awards Eastern Michigan University professor with Dance Educator of the Year award

Sherry Wilkinson holds a bouquet with Michigan Dance Council President, Greg Patterson
Sherry Wilkinson, left, with Michigan Dance Council President, Greg Patterson.

YPSILANTI — The Michigan Dance Council awarded Eastern Michigan University professor Sherry Wilkinson the Dance Educator of the Year in Higher Education award. The Council’s board voted unanimously to award Wilkinson with this prestigious honor.

Wilkinson is honored to receive this recognition, a testament to her longstanding commitment to the dance program. “It is a privilege to receive this award, said Wilkinson. “Each day, I get to share my passion and knowledge with our amazing EMU students, and I love each and every day I am on campus.”

Wilkinson attributes her success to her efforts in modernizing the EMU dance program with the support of her colleagues and administration. "

“Professor Sherry Wilkinson just celebrated her 25th year on the faculty of EMU,” said Christopher Barrick, director and professor of the School of Music and Dance at Eastern. “During her time at Eastern, she has contributed to the EMU Dance Program in numerous ways through her teaching, creative activities, service, and leadership.  Her list of accomplishments is lengthy and I’m so glad she is getting the recognition she deserves.”

Under Wilkinson’s leadership, the dance program’s curriculum now exceeds all national standards in dance education and is customizable so students can meet all their educational goals. 

“Our EMU dance graduates are highly successful, all working in some capacity in the profession,” said Wilkinson. “We also boast a 100% acceptance rate into graduate schools.”  

Some of Wilkinson’s accomplishments during the 2023-24 academic year include the following:

  • Assisted with the hire of three part-time lecturers of the dance program
  • Choreographed and led an annual ballet performance collaboration featuring scenes from “Sleeping Beauty” with the EMU Symphony Orchestra 
  • Led the annual faculty and guest artist concerts in January 2024
  • Showcased EMU dance students at the regional American College Dance Association conference, where they received high praise
  • Presented at the regional ACDA conference
  • Oversaw EMU Program Review for the dance program

The Michigan Dance Council is a State Affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization and a National Honor Society for Dance Arts sponsor. This program recognizes students for outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement in dance across various settings, including K-12 public and private schools, dance studios, cultural and community centers, performing arts organizations, and post-secondary institutions.


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

June 11, 2024

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher