School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Artists in Residence and Guests


Eisenhower Dance - Company in Residence

Eisenhower Dance is a nationally touring professional dance company directed by OU Professor Emerita of Dance Laurie Eisenhower. OU students have the unique opportunity to mentor with the professional dancers of Eisenhower Dance and are given numerous opportunities to perform with the Company. The OU Repertory Dance Company often collaborates with Eisenhower Dance on large-scale choreographic productions. Senior dancers have the opportunity to audition for apprenticeships with the Company, a unique and valuable professional training opportunity. Many OU alumni have eventually been hired by Eisenhower Dance as full company members. The Oakland University Dance Program is the only program in the State of Michigan that has a professional dance company in residence.

Take Root - Company in Residence

Photo of Take Root male and female dancers transposed on top of another photo of male and female dancers, with a cello and piano in the background.Beginning with their first full-length concert of the same name in 2013,   Take Root  commanded attention with their intricate partnering, thought provoking details and unrestricted vision.   Take Root’s kinesthetic connections to one another and their audiences creates thoughtful and visceral works of art; from the smallest gesture to the most explosive charges of movement. Calling Rochester, Michigan their home,   Take Root  resides at Oakland University under the direction of its founders and fellow company members, Ali Woerner and Thayer Jonutz, both OU Associate Professors’ of Dance. Appreciating the many facets of art, the company thrives on collaboration and untraditional spaces.   Take Root’s  multi-disciplinary approach to concepts and movement allows for their accessibility to all ages and backgrounds. They investigate the process of human connections, allowing their unique voice to directly reach audiences.    Take Root has performed at the New Dance for Asia International Festival/Seoul, South Korea, Incheon Yeonsu International Dance Festival/Incheon, Korea,  Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Detroit Institute of Arts, National Theater of Costa Rica, Uferstudios/Berlin, Red Bull House of Art/Detroit, TEDx, Detroit Dance City Festival, RADfest, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, The Music Hall Center for Performing Arts Detroit, Hamlin Field House Theater/Chicago, presented lecture/workshops for NDEO, The University of Costa Rica, ACDF, the 21 st  Century Arts and Arts Education Conference and received grant funding from Oakland University’s Research College, the Senate for Teaching and Learning, and Oakland County’s Brooksie Way Mini Grant.

The company’s mission is to “connect” through movement with as many individuals in as many diverse circles as possible. Take Root, hosts three Dance for Parkinson’s Disease classes throughout Oakland County, including a free monthly class at Oakland University. Woerner was recently awarded Oakland County Executive’s 2016 Elite 40 Under 40 top honor for her creation of the Dance for Parkinson’s Disease program at OU.  Take Root was named a finalist for the Governor’s Fitness Awards for 2016.