People of Eastern: Meet Eastern alum and new Dance Department Administrator, Emilee Carey.

Emilee Carey was once a familiar face on campus but has returned to Eastern University in a new position.

Carey graduated from Eastern in 2016 with a Dance major and Business minor and returned last spring to take over the position as Dance Department Administrator. Her first appearance on campus as a faculty member was cut short due to COVID-19, but she is back this semester and is ready to get the Dance Department back in action.

Carey is a native of the Philadelphia area and started dancing when she was just three years old in Paoli. Since discovering her love for dance, she continued lessons in ballet and modern. In high school, Carey started to perform in plays and musicals, continuing her love for the stage beyond dance. Carey’s senior year at Eastern University, she was hired for Roger Lee Dance Company, a jazz, modern- funk company based in Philadelphia, which carried her into the next stage of her dance journey.

Upon graduating, Carey started teaching classes at Kristina Pulcini Ballet Academy and Twirl in Newtown
Square. Carey is still teaching for both dance studios as well as choreographing musicals for Agnes Irwin High School and St. Anastasia’s Middle School. Carey is most recently performing with Apex Dance Company centered in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions. For the last six years, Carey has performed in the Philadelphia Nutcracker as a professional performer. “Performing is one of my favorite things in the world,” Carey said. “I love being on stage.”

Carey has experience in both sides of dance: choreographing and dancing. “I love to choreograph any type of jazz: performance, old school, Fosse, musical theatre,” Carey said. “But ballet has always had my heart. I love teaching ballet. I think because I know it so well and because I’ve taught millions of ballet classes over my life.”

Throughout her countless performances, her all-time favorite performances were the ones that were the most fun. One of these is her high school’s production of the hit based in the 1950’s, “Grease.” Another memorable performance for Carey is an Afro-Jazz piece that she choreographed with a friend while still
studying at Eastern University. “We combined African movement with jazz choreography. We worked really well together and to perform your own work is just really cool,” Carey said.

Despite these memorites, one of Carey’s most creative pieces was for her senior thesis here at Eastern. She had a total of five pieces that were all based on a different Shakespearean play, which Carey then formulated her choreography around the Pythagorean Theorem. For each play, the number was centered around a different style of dancing, starting out level-headed and then building in intensity. “I’m a big concept person,” Carey said. “I like working with big groups of people and having it all come together.”

Now, working for Eastern University, her job revolves around making schedules, sending emails, and putting on the dance shows. Despite Carey’s hectic start as a faculty member, she has high hopes for this year. “I only had half of a semester last year, so this year, I’m looking forward to producing two shows and helping the Dance Department get back on its feet.”

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