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Heather Castillo

Passion for dance and its synonymous tie to life and community is the foundation of Heather’s career and continuing aspirations as an artist, educator, and researcher.

She is an Assistant Professor of Performing Arts, Dance at California State University  Channel Islands. Heather is actively working to establish a program that emphasizes the American multicultural dance arts; focusing on Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip Hop forms. She has developed a campus wide integrative research and creative showcase Arts Under The Stars where over 150 students participate annually. In Spring, Heather was honored with the President’s award for Teaching Innovation at CI.

Artistically, Heather performs and creates using dance as her medium.  She has danced for Disney in the Wold Television Premier for Hunchback of Notre Dame, choreographed Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Sally Struthers as the Fairy Godmother, and danced with Selena Gomez on The American Music Awards. She is currently working on Exerts from the Motherside with colleagues Catherine Burriss and MiRi Park, an ever evolving piece that invites artist-mothers to reflect on journey of parenthood. In Fall she will choreograph Mame for Musical Theatre Guild.

Stay tuned for the Commercial Dance Oral History Project. Heather has been working on building an open access database and archive featuring commercial dancers from the Golden Age of Hollywood to our current era. Filling the information gap and ensuring the history and legacy of commercial dance is her research raison d’être.

Heather received her BFA in Choreography and MFA in Dance from UC Irvine and  received  the Excellence in Choreography award. Throughout her dance journey she has received several awards in many capacities highlighting her versatility including; Miss Dance USA Nationals 1994, 2004 Rookie Coach of the year from the California Dance and Drill Team Association, 2010 Best Choreography in the Southern California Region from Broadway World, and 2011 & 2017 two-time Maximus Award nominee from the student body of CSU Channel Islands.