Mary A. Brennan, Ph.D.

Mary A. Brennan

Title: Professor Emerita of Dance
Company: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin, United States

Mary A. Brennan, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in dance education.

Drawing upon more than four decades of industry experience, Dr. Brennan is a professor emerita in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, having ascended the ranks from lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor and full professor between 1967 and 2002. During this time, she also served as chair of the dance program from 1977 to 1979, 1984 to 1986, and 1997 to 2001. She commenced her career as assistant professor and chair of the physical education department at Rosary College beginning in 1958. A frequent lecturer in her field, she has additionally served as an invited lecturer at Maharaja Sayajirao University in India in 1995, having previously completed a Fulbright Indo-American research fellowship in 1992. Likewise, she was formerly a grant reviewer for the Wisconsin Arts Board and a consultant in dance curriculum guidelines with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Equally passionate about her community, Dr. Brennan has been on the mini-med school advisory board of the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin since 2013, having previously served as president of the board of directors at the Hancock Center for Dance and Movement Therapy from 2010 to 2013. Having served in several leadership roles with a number of organizations related to the arts, dance and humanities, she has been involved with the Consortium for the Arts, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the University of Wisconsin Retirement Association, the Call for Peace, Drum and Dance Company and the Arts Institute, among numerous others.

Dr. Brennan holds a Bachelor of Science from DePaul University, and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. She has been certified in movement analysis by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies since 1983. Demonstrating dedication and versatility in her field, she has contributed 24 articles to professional journals, three chapters to books, and over 50 papers. On the editorial board for the Journal of Dance Education for nearly a decade, she co-authored “Margaret H’Doubler: The Legacy of America’s Dance Education Pioneer” through Cambria Press in 2006. A longtime modern dance performer and choreographer, she was also an invited editor for Impulse: the International Journal of Dance Science, Medicine and Education in 1995.

In an effort to remain abreast of recent developments within the industry, Dr. Brennan has maintained affiliation with myriad organizations. Formerly on the national committee of the National Dance Education Organization in 1998, she also associated with the National Dance Association on the honors award committee, the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance on the resolutions committee, and the Dane County Cultural Arts Council on the grant review panel. She was the co-director and narrator of “A Night Fantastic” through the University League Fundraiser Dance Production, as well as an adjudicator for the “Humorology” show through the Pan Hellenic Association at the University of Wisconsin. Likewise, she is holds membership with the American Association for Laban Movement Analysis and the Congress on Research in Dance.

In recognition of her exceptional contributions to the dance industry, Dr. Brennan has accrued several accolades. Most recently accepting the Virginia Horne Henry Award for the Indexing and Preservation of Archival Materials in 2006, she also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002, the Virginia Horne Henry Award for Teaching Courses in Movement Analysis-Stage Three in 2000, and the National Dance Association Award for Contributions to the Field of Dance Technology in 1999. Additionally, she was presented with the Wisconsin Dance Council Research and Journalism Award in 1996, the Vilas Associates Award in Arts and Humanities from 1992 to 1994, and the National Dance Association Presidential Award for Service in 1993. Furthermore, she has received multiple grants throughout her career. She has been highlighted in the 18th edition of Who’s Who of American Women and the 23rd edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest.

For more information, please visit:

Press Release

Lifetime Achievement

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