Susan is a contemporary dance choreographer and performer, a writer, an educator, and an arts advocate. Recent accomplishments include the premiere of an evening length one-woman dance theatre show, The Linen Closet and Other Collections, and receipt of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. The Greater Columbus Arts Council awarded Susan the Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship in 2013, and in 2016 the statewide service organization, OhioDance, awarded her with their annual award for Contributions to Dance Education. During the 90’s Susan was the Artistic Director of The Van Pelt Dance Ensemble in Columbus, Ohio, touring the company and solo work, conducting residencies in schools, and helping to build the dance community. While a guest teacher and visiting artist at numerous universities, highlights include teaching at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and at the Taiwan National University of the Arts, and serving as company teacher and rehearsal director for the Cloud Gate Dance Company of Taiwan.
Susan choreographed for Opera Columbus’ 2017 production of Carmen with director Crystal Manich, and Ohio State University’s 2016 production of Dido & Aeneas, directed by A. Scott Parry. Previous theatre choreography credits include Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at Otterbein, and The Tempest at OSU. Susan Van Pelt Petry was chair in the Department of Dance at OSU from 2006-2015, and is currently on faculty. She has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, and a Master’s from OSU.