Teal Darkenwald

Teal Darkenwald
Associate Professor, Dance
227 Austin Building
Mail Stop 553
East Carolina University




Teal Darkenwald is a tenured Associate Professor of dance and biomechanics at East Carolina University where she teaches dance technique, dance composition, and dance science courses and serves as an Honors College Faculty Fellow. Whilst her primary focus is dance science and contemporary dance, Darkenwald also has experience teaching jazz dance and ballet for undergraduates studying dance and musical theatre. She has been awarded the Distinguished Professor award by the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina system for excellence in teaching in addition to numerous grants for her scholarship and teaching.


As an interdisciplinary artist, her work intersects the arts, technology, and sciences. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK where her scholarship includes creating choreography using emerging technologies, inertial motion capture, and virtual reality and using optical motion capture and electromyography to measure biomechanical outcomes in dancers. Whilst on research leave, Darkenwald served as the Performance Enhancement Tutor for the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Trinity Laban where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive dance conditioning, performance optimization, and injury prevention program that was interwoven into the student experience through group and one-on-one training sessions.


As the founder of UltraBarre®, she certifies teachers throughout the world in barre-based dance conditioning and incorporates this work into her teaching for young dancers, professionals, and within the classes for the undergraduate and postgraduate coursework at ECU and Trinity Laban. Darkenwald believes dance science should be used to leverage, not limit, physicality in dance performance. She trains dancers to find a balance of flexibility and stability through dance conditioning and customizes her programs in accordance with the choreographic demands of the form while honoring the boundaries of each individual body.


Darkenwald’s choreography has been featured at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York Live Arts and the Ailey Citigroup Theatre, and she has worked internationally in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Canada, and the Philippines. Darkenwald has directed and choreographed large-scale performances including site-specific performances, traditional proscenium dance performances, visual media, and industry entertainment. She is on the advisory board for BalaSole Dance Company in New York City where she serves as an artistic associate and choreographer, an organization devoted to providing diverse, equitable, and inclusive performance experiences for dance artists.

Education: MFA, Dance with an emphasis in Choreography, University of Arizona
BA, Dance Performance, BS, Exercise Science, University at Buffalo

Courses: Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Dance Composition, various science-related dance lectures