Susan Kirchner


Towson Tiger Statue

Contact Info

Center for the Arts, 1002U


Ed. D.,Temple University
M.F.A, Dance, Temple University

Areas of Expertise

Responding to Dance (writing)
Dance Leadership
Dance Pedagogy


Susan Haigler Kirchner is Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance, Towson University; she
served the department with distinction as Chairwoman from 2006 to 2019. Prior to joining the Towson faculty, Dr. Kirchner was Department of Dance Chairwoman at Columbia College, South Carolina, from 1998-2006. Susan served on the Dance Department faculty at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth from 1993-1998, and at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1985-1989.
Professor Kirchner has been a proactive administrator and advocate for dance within higher education for the past 21 years. Among extensive leadership contributions to the field, Susan served as Chair of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) Ethics Committee from 2015 to 2017 and has served as Nominations Chairperson and Director of Membership for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She holds both MFA and Ed.D. degrees in Dance from the Department of Dance, Temple University. Her doctoral dissertation (1995) helped document the teaching methodology in improvisation/composition of Robert Ellis Dunn, an acclaimed artist-educator whose 35-year career guided and nurtured dancers to “find the extraordinary in the ordinary” within movement inventions for composition. Dr. Kirchner’s most recent research concluded in 2019 with the submission of a lifetime memoir of Alcine Joseph Wiltz III for the University of Maryland College Park Performing Arts Library.
She partners with the Maryland Dance Education Organization (MDEO) in their Towson University
location for professional development for Maryland dance educators. She served 12 years on the Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel for the Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. She is currently Vice President of the Morgan County Arts Council, West Virginia.
In her early career Susan performed with the German Expressionist Modern Dance Company,
ZeroMoving Dance Company in Philadelphia (1982-2985), and with Moving South Dance Company in South Carolina (1978-1982). From 1985–1989 she was a freelance choreographer/dancer in the District of Columbia. This Southern feminist has choreographed, taught and facilitated teacher professional development training in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Teas and internationally in Italy and Mexico.
Susan’s leadership activities in addition to her university appointments have included chairing the South Carolina Chapter of the National Dance Education Organization (SCDEO); serving as a member of the Advisory Committee of the South Carolina Center for Dance Education (SCCDE); and served on the Executive Board/Vice President for the Division of Dance Science and Somatics of the National Dance Association (NDA). She received the 2005 Advocacy Award from the South Carolina Dance Association (SCDA).
Dr. Kirchner’s career at Towson University has included the stewardship of stellar dance faculty and staff toward fulfilling the creative and scholarly research and realizing their teaching goals and insights. She advocates “dancing for a lifetime”; this is the management style of stewardship and ecology of the unit, cultivating shared governance, and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations impacting the 21st Century creative economy.
Susan is the proud wife of Dale L. Kirchner. She is the mother of Lewis, Christine and Camilo and
daughter of Mrs. Sue S. Haigler of Florence, SC.