Maggie Patton, Founder Dancentral History
Maggie Patton, who passed away in June 2011, was a pioneer of modern dance in Central Ohio - a noted choreographer and director and a longtime dance professor at Kenyon College. Through her extensive teaching and choreographing Maggie Patton played an important role in establishing modern dance in Ohio. Originally from Centralia, Illinois, Maggie graduated from the University of Illinois in 1962 and earned a master’s degree at The Ohio State University in 1965. In 1973 she left OSU to form her own dance company, Dancentral, Columbus’ first professional dance company. Dancentral served as a catalyst to create a climate making it possible for other companies to subsequently emerge. In addition to creating more than seventy major dance works for Dancentral, Maggie had a distinguished record of achievement for the Ohio Light Opera choreographing and directing more than fifty productions over eleven years. While Maggie served as Dancentral’s lead choreographer and the single driving force behind its development, she also supported local artists by producing work of emerging choreographers, nurturing and developing dance artists, and partnering with local musicians. Dancentral’s repertoire was a reflection of Maggie herself - unpretentious, playful, theatrical, musical, and witty. She was a natural and charismatic teacher who empowered everyone around her to take a leap into the unknown. It didn’t matter if she was teaching students at Kenyon College or youngsters at Ohio Avenue Elementary, her humor and charisma attracted legions of devoted students. She was among the earliest Kenyon faculty members to receive the Trustee Teaching Excellence Award in 1995. At her retirement from Kenyon in 2000, Maggie was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree and the status of professor emerita.
- Maggie Patton graduated from the University of Illinois.
- Maggie earned a master's degree at Ohio State University. She then taught in the Dance Division at OSU.
- Maggie left OSU to form her own dance company, Dancentral, Columbus' first professional dance company. As the company's artistic director, Maggie created more than seventy major dance works for subscription seasons and regional tours.
- Maggie began her "summer career" as the choreographer of the Ohio Light Opera (OLO) at the College of Wooster. She had a distinguished record of achievement with the OLO in her eleven seasons, choreographing or directing more than fifty productions from Gilbert & Sullivan and European operetta.
- Her distinguished career at Kenyon College began as an assistant professor of dance.
- She won tenure and promotion to associate professor.
- She was among the earliest Kenyon faculty members to receive the Trustee Teaching Excellence Award.
- She made full professor at Kenyon College.
- At her retirement from Kenyon, Maggie was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree and the status of professor emerita.
- PATTON Margaret "Maggie" Patton, a noted choreographer and director and a longtime dance professor at Kenyon College, passed away on June 8, 2011, at Kobacker House in Columbus following a short illness