Dale A. Merrill

Dale A. Merrill headshot


Dean's Office for Art, Dean's Office for Hartt

The Hartt School, Hartford Art School
860.768.5236 F 203

University of Washington, MFA

University of Utah, BFA

Dale A. Merrill is currently the Dean of The Hartt School and the Hartford Art School. He is also a member of the HCD dance faculty at University of Hartford. Prior to joining Hartt, he was the dean of the College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton. 

Prior to joining CSUF, Merrill created a highly competitive dance department and was instrumental in the formation of the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University, where he served as both associate dean and dean. His former Chapman students include So You Think You Can Dance contestants Katee Shean, Ade Obayomi and Stephen Boss, aka “Twitch”. Other former students are now performing with the National Touring Company of Wicked and the modern dance companies Momix, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Batsheva and Damagedance. He was one of the founding members and artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, a professional dance company and community arts organization in Seattle. Dean Merrill directed and re-staged works by noted choreographers such as Ann Reinking, Margo Sappington, Dwight Rhoden, Lar Lubovitch, Daniel Ezralow, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

Dean Merrill has over 25 years of choreographic and teaching credits, including numerous original works, musical theater productions, and a public television special. He has been a guest teacher for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Backhausdance, Anaheim Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, University of California, Irvine, University of Montana, Saint Joseph Ballet, Washington Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Bellevue, Montana Dance Arts Association, Black Hills Dance Association, and The American College Dance Festival. Dean Merrill currently serves as a site-evaluator for accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Dance and serves as a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Standards Advisory Committee for the California State Board of Education.

Recognized for his community leadership, Merrill received a 2001 Rudy, a national award presented by Safeco Insurance Company for community leadership and advocacy. The following year, he was honored with the prestigious Corporate Council for the Arts’ Unsung Hero Award.

Merrill earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ballet from the University of Utah and a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Washington.