PAUL BESAW is Professor of Theatre & Dance in the School of the Arts. He came to UVM in 2006 as the founding faculty member and director for the Dance Program and led the Program in the creation of a dance minor (2010) and dance major (2019). He teaches courses in choreography, dance history, performance, among others, and co-created/team-teaches an interdisciplinary class on the “mind-body problem” with faculty members in neuroscience and religion. Paul was awarded the University of Vermont’s Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010. During his time at UVM, he has served in a variety of academic leadership positions.

Paul is a choreographer, theatre-maker, and performer. His primary interest is in the development of original performance works that integrate collaboration across art forms. His work has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, at a wide variety of places, venues, and sites. He is a founder, leader, and active member of Dance Tramp, a Vermont dance/theatre collective, and also performs and creates work with sloDance in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In 2016, Paul was a Visiting Professor in the School of Drama at the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea. He has also been a tenure-track faculty member at Catawba College (North Carolina) and California State University, Sacramento (California). He has served on the Board of Directors for the American College Dance Association (ACDA) since 2007, currently on the Executive Committee as Vice President for Elections & Board Affairs. Four of Paul’s dances have received Gala Honors at regional ACDA conferences; in 2023, his original work The Undertaker Waltzes In, featuring UVM student performers, was selected for the ACDA National College Dance Festival at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA. Paul also serves on the Board of Directors for the Off Center for the Dramatic Arts in Burlington, VT. He received his BA in Theatre from Keene State College and his MFA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Paul Besaw

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

dance composition; performance studies; devised performance; directing


  • MFA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • BA, Keene State College


  • 802-656-0085
Office Location:

Royall Tyler Theatre, Room 105

Office Hours:

M 12-1, W 11-1

Courses Taught

DNCE 160 - Dance Composition

DNCE 175 - Dance Repertory

DNCE 176 - Dance Performance Practicum

DNCE 260 - Choreography Workshop