Alumnae/i Profile

Marcus Hayes

Marcus HayesMarcus Hayes is an Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance program at Austin Peay State University, focusing on dance techniques, dance history and choreography.  He received a dual Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre Arts: Dance from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance with a concentration in Choreography from Mills College in California.  Marcus joined the faculty of APSU in fall 2006.  He is currently president of the Tennessee Association of Dance Board of Directors (2012-2014) and serves on the National Board of Directors for the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA). He performed and choreographed professionally with the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company and has taught dance technique for the Chicago Park District, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Rockford College, and the School for the Rockford Dance Company.  Marcus’ research interests include post-identity politics in performance, formal issues in choreography, site-specific choreography and most recently Folk Dances of Latin America.  He has worked with many noted dance artists including Molissa Fenley, June Watanabe, Anne Westwick, Sonya Delwaide, Chris Johnson, Margaret Rennerfeldt, Jin-Wen Yu, and Maria Castello. 

What about your Mills experience have you continued to benefit from since graduating?

Probably the most important elements of my Mills experience comes from the studio. I was challenged as a dancer to learn techniques that were new to me, I was forced to gain a better understanding of music fundamentals, and I had to produce choreographic studies even when I thought I had nothing left to explore.  Mills pushed me in so many profound ways. 

Prior to attending Mills, I had no experience with Graham technique or Cunningham technique. I learned to appreciate these very formal, codified forms and have been able to infuse that technique into my current viewpoint of contemporary modern dance. 

I understand so much more about music and how to manipulate time and music because of my Mills training. I am able to work with accompanists and studio musicians while speaking their language. I am able to choreograph from a music score, which comes in handy when I am asked to choreograph a musical or when I am invited to collaborate with my local chamber orchestra. 

Because of my Mills experience, I am able to produce choreography quickly and succinctly. During my time at Mills, I had to make so much work in such a short time period. I have so much choreographic knowledge in my toolbox and it was through my Mills training that I learned how to make works of choreography that can fit any scenario.

How has dance helped to shape your current work or passions?

I feel very fortunate because dance is my full-time life. I get to work in the dance field every day, so it never feels like work. I also am given the privilege of sharing my knowledge and love for dance with college students every day.

« Return to alumnae/i page.


Contact Information
P: 510.430.3309

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2175.

Last Updated: 3/15/18