Erik Stern holds a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. in Dance from CalArts. Erik danced with Tandy Beal & Company for 10 years, has appeared as a guest artist with Repertory Dance Theatre, and in works by Remy Charlip and others. In addition to his extensive dance experience, Erik’s choreography draws on his background as a musician and actor. As a professor at Weber State University, he teaches technique (Modern and Rhythm Tap), Improvisation, Choreography, Music for Dance, as well as dance outreach, dance education and general education courses. He has choreographed over seventy-five works for students and professional dancers.
From 1999-2002 Erik was the Endowed Artist for the WSU College of Arts & Humanities. In 2002 his duet on WSU students, “Table of Content,” was performed at the Kennedy Center as part of the American College Dance Festival Association’s national meeting. As the 2010-11 Eccles Honors Fellow, Erik created and taught a new colloquium, “The Body of Religion.”
Stern’s evening-length work Demolition Derby: when a mind loses its license to drive premiered in Utah, was performed in New York City in 2007, and forged collaborations with the University of Utah’s Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging & Research, and the Utah and New York City Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association. Demo Derby received the WSU Exemplary Collaboration Award in 2007.
Since 1987 Erik has co-directed the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble with Karl Schaffer. The company has received over 50 grants, including seven from the National Endowment for the Arts, and toured throughout North American, including performances at the Kennedy Center. In June 2009, the ensemble performed at the World Science Festival at New York University, and in July 2010 at the Bridges 2010 conference in Pécs, Hungary. The ensemble’s work connecting mathematics and dance was covered in a March 2010 article of Dance Teacher Magazine.
Erik’s commentary on Alzheimer’s disease and the arts appeared in the April 2009 issue of Academic Medicine and he co-authored “MathDance with Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern,” which describes their long-standing educational work connecting dance and mathematics. As a Teaching Artist with the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program, he instructs students and educators throughout the U.S. in arts integration.
For a DVD of Demolition Derby e-mail Erik. For more information about the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, visit
Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern performance excerpts:
Do the Math Dance video produced for Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science: