The College of Performing Arts has added Wilson Mendieta to the Department of Dance faculty beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. Mendieta joins Chapman University as assistant professor of dance. He worked previously at the University of Washington as director of the musical theatre program.
“I am excited to bring Wilson to Chapman,” said Julianne O’Brien Pedersen, chair of the Department of Dance. “He is a great fit for a department that is serious about rigorous training, diversity, and collaboration. Wilson’s renowned professional work and connections, expertise in teaching, and research in sustaining dance careers will greatly contribute to our students’ and department’s bright future.”
A graduate of the University of Washington, Mendieta earned his MFA degree in dance and certificate in nonprofit management from UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs. He received his BFA degree in acting and a B.A. minor in dance from Montclair State University, NJ. Prior to earning his master’s degree, Mendieta lived in the New York City area where he worked as a performer for television, radio spots, commercials, concert dance companies and Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals; these include Broadway performances in Chicago (national tour) and Man of La Mancha; performing with concert dance companies such as Joy Kellman & Co. and Shapiro & Smith; and working in television, film and commercials for Dr. Pepper, episodes of the Law and Order television series, and Dancing with the Stars television show. His choreography has been seen throughout the United States, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and he has been invited to festivals in Venezuela and Australia.
CoPA dean Dr. Giulio Ongaro believes Mendieta will be a strong addition to the dance program at Chapman. “I am very pleased to see the Dance Department bringing to campus another talented artist, someone who has shown the ability to be a leader in a variety of performance fields and specialties. Wilson Mendieta is an excellent fit for Chapman and for the College as we move toward an increasingly collaborative paradigm for performing arts education.”
Mendieta’s teaching experience includes University of Washington; University of Minnesota; Purchase College, NY; Montclair State University, NJ; Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, NY; CAP 21 at Molloy College, NY; Steps on Broadway, NY; and Dance New Amsterdam, NY to name a few. His expertise includes jazz, modern, contemporary, ballet, Latin dance, theatre dance, musical theatre history and dance, song interpretation, and “the entrepreneurial performing artist.”
Professor Mendieta has researched extensively on how to better equip performing arts students for sustained careers in their fields, and has been invited for presentation at the International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Oahu, HI. He also has served as a panelist for several arts funding organizations including The National Endowment for the Arts.