Ms. Eisenhower began her professional choreographic career when she set a work for the Prospect Park Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Since then, she has set her works on numerous professional and university dance companies including BalletMet Columbus, Desert Dance Theatre, State Street Ballet and Harbinger Dance Company, to name a few.
In 1991, she formed Eisenhower Dance, which, with the help of committed and talented dancers, has become the premiere dance company in the state of Michigan. Since the founding of Eisenhower Dance, the company has grown from a small ensemble of four dancers on a pay-per-performance basis to the current company with an extensive schedule of rehearsals, performances and touring. The company has traveled as far as St. Petersburg, Russia, tours nationally, and is now in the midst of its 23rd season.
Ms. Eisenhower has created over 100 dances for the Company and has received frequent grants and honors for her choreography. She has been awarded several Creative Artists grants from state arts foundations, the Michigan Dance Association Choreographers Festival Award, the Women in Art Award for Choreography, Artserve’s Michigan Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Michigan Artist and, most recently, the prestigious 2012 Kresge Artist Fellowship. Her work has also been supported through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Skillman Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the National Dance Project, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Ms. Eisenhower is also well known for her teaching and is a former Dance Program Director and Professor of Dance at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. At OU, she was awarded a Travis Professorship and was honored twice by the OU Board of Trustees. She also received an OU Research Fellowship, 25 faculty research grants, and the Faculty Recognition Award for her outstanding contributions in the field of dance. In 2012, she was appointed the status of Professor Emerita.
Stephanie Pizzo, EDE Associate Artistic Director, is a native of Clinton Township, Michigan where she began her training with Orchid Diane and Denise Boucke and continued on with Evelyn Kreason. She danced with the Michigan Ballet Theatre, Oakland Dance Theater and Harbinger Dance Company. She has a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Dance from Oakland University. As a student, she received the Jacob S. Decker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and a scholarship from the American College Dance Festival to study with the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company in Utah. In 2009, she received a Distinguished Alumni or “MaTilDa” award from the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Oakland University. As a founding member of Eisenhower Dance, Ms. Pizzo currently teaches company class, rehearses and choreographs for the company. She has staged works by Laurie Eisenhower on numerous companies and universities including Desert Dance Theatre, Scottsdale Community College, Collin County Community College and Alma College. She has set her own choreography at Illinois Wesleyan University and numerous works on Eisenhower Dance. Ms. Pizzo is a special lecturer in dance at Oakland University and also enjoys teaching ballet at the Detroit Skating Club to National and International Competitive Figure Skaters. This year marks Ms. Pizzo’s 23nd season with Eisenhower Dance.