Mary Jane Warner
Professor Emerita

Dance History, Repertory, Ballet Technique, Dance Education

Mary Jane Warner has extensive teaching experience at all levels, from elementary to graduate school. She was the founder of the historical dance group Entrée Dance, which performed Renaissance and Baroque dance in schools and other community settings in the American Midwest, and directed the dance program at Kirkland College in Clinton, New York for six years before returning to Canada in 1980.

At York University, she has taught courses in dance history, notation, repertory, movement analysis, ballet and dance education. She has served as Chair of the Dance Department, director of the Graduate Program in Dance and associate dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Her expertise in dance pedagogy brought her onto the development team for the Province of Ontario high school dance curriculum.

Dr. Warner is a Fellow of the International Council of Kinetography Laban and a certified notation teacher and author of Laban Notation Scores: An International Bibliography, Volumes I – IV. She has provided certified checking for notation scores including works by Anna Sokolow and Leonide Massine, and has reconstructed works by Doris Humphrey and Marion Scott. She was the primary organizer and administrator of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies Program at York University.

An authority on Canadian dance, Professor Warner published the bookToronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925 as well as numerous articles on dance in Toronto. With colleague Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, she developed a CD titled Shadow on the Prairie an interactive multimedia dance history tutorial that was released on the York Fine Arts recording label in 1997 – the first dance history CD-ROM ever published. Working in collaboration with York dance professor Selma Odom, she completed Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories, an anthology of Canadian dance published by Dance Collection Danse. She recently completed a SSHRC grant documenting the work of several senior choreographers. She was instrumental in the establishment of Toronto Heritage Dance, an ensemble with a mandate to raise awareness of our modern dance tradition through performance, educational and preservation activities. She has received funding through the Ministry of Health Promotion to place students in community centres to teach dance to older adults as part of the Healthy Communities Fund.

Areas of Research and Academic Specialty: Dance history, notation, repertory, movement analysis, ballet technique, dance education