Edward R. Truitt

Director of Dance at West Texas A&M University

Mr. Truitt is an internationally award winning choreographer, a Fulbright Senior Specialist and recognized internationally as a teacher and choreographer. His work has been performed in the U.S., France, Japan, Italy, and across Russia in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yaketerinburg, Novosibirsk, and Krasnoyarsk (Siberia). Mr. Truitt took the WTAMU dancers in July 2004 to perform in Russia, the trip was the subject of a documentary film “Dancing in Russian Air” which aired regionally on PBS. In June 2005 Mr. Truitt’s “Kinetic Ties” was awarded 1st place for best contemporary ballet and 2nd place for best overall choreography at the Grand Prix Italia international dance festival in Cesena Italy.

Mr. Truitt has an extensive and varied background in dance. He has performed principal and soloist roles in much of the classical canon including Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Raymonda, and Nutcracker. He has also performed in the ballets Romeo and Juliet, Carmina Burana, Daphnis and Chloe, Cheri, Orpheus, Graduation Ball and many others. He was a principal soloist with the Los Angeles Classical Ballet Company, Santa Barbara Ballet Theatre, Omaha Ballet Theatre and has performed as a jazz dancer in feature films, television and the professional stage in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Paris and Moscow. Mr. Truitt has also been a guest artist for various modern dance companies and has danced in the works of Bill Evans, Jose Limon and others.

Mr. Truitt has choreographed professionally for the stage, film and television, for universities and various dance companies. Mr. Truitt hwas accepted as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in 2002. In June 2003 he received a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant to set his work "Misguided Faith..." on the Kannon dance company, to teach at the International Festival of Contemporary Dance - OPEN LOOK, and to consult on the development of a new dance program in St. Petersburg, Russia. While in Russia, Mr. Truitt took part in "Project Distance", a teaching/performance tour that traveled from St. Petersburg to Yaketerinburg, Novosibirsk, and Krasnayarsk (Siberia). Mr. Truitt was the first non-Russian invited to participate with this project. Mr. Truitt presented excerpts from his jazz/ballet "Energy Unbound" in Yaketerinburg and Krasnayarsk. His contemporary work, "Misguided Faith…," had its Russian premiere at the Krasnayarsk Ballet Opera House and was performed at the gala of the OPEN LOOK International Festival of Contemporary Dance July 10, 2003 in St. Petersburg.

In January 1999 Mr. Truitt was invited to St. Petersburg, Russia where he completed teaching a seminar in contemporary dance forms for teachers, choreographers and professional dancers. The seminar was conducted with the support of the Administration of the Culture Committee of St. Petersburg as part of the Contemporary Choreography Development Program in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the fall of 1996 Mr. Truitt collaborated with Paris-based visual artist Lauren Unger on a series of performances integrating dance with the creation of visual art that took place in Los Angeles, Paris and Moscow. Mr. Truitt produced, wrote, directed and choreographed the One-Act play/ballet "Sarah's Dance" which premiered in Eugene, Oregon in 1995.

Mr. Truitt has taught workshops or master classes at the American College Dance Festival, the Northwest Drama Conference, the CSU Summer Arts Program, BYU Summer Dance Workshop, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Eugene Ballet Company, the Tacoma City Ballet, the Central California Ballet Company, the WTAMU Summer Dance Camp, the Nebraska Association of Dance Teachers, and at many other schools around the U.S

Mr. Truitt began his dance studies in Lincoln Nebraska with Karen McWilliams. He was awarded a dance scholarship at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he was a double major in theatre and dance for 3 years. He finished his BFA in Theatre/Dance at the University of Nebraska at Omaha while dancing professionally with the Omaha Ballet under Katharyn Horne and Thomas Enckell.

Mr. Truitt holds his masters’ degree in dance from the University of Oregon. He is currently Director of Dance at West Texas A&M University and formerly served as Artistic Director of the Lone Star Ballet. Mr. Truitt has also served as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University, taught at California State University-Fresno, Brigham Young University, and the University of Oregon (as a graduate teaching fellow).

Mr. Truitt cites the following people as most influential in his teaching style and/or to the development of his career; Glenn White (former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet), Katharyn Horne (formerly with American Ballet Theatre), Stanley Holden (former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet), Richard Croskey, Jaime Rogers (Emmy nominated choreographer) and Karen McWilliams.
Mr. Truitt has also performed as an actor in many productions and is a former member of the Screen Actors Guild.