Eric Brandt Nielsen was a full professor and dance program director in the Communication Arts Department at Valdosta State University from 1986-2016. Professor Nielsen holds a B.F.A. in Theatre and an M.F.A. in Modern Dance Choreography from the University of Utah. He created the dance emphasis program at VSU in 1986 and was the founding director of the VSU Repertory Dancers.
Besides teaching on the college level for forty years, Professor Nielsen is also a professional dancer, choreographer and director. His performance experiences ranged from classical ballet companies throughout the U.S.A., to show dancing at the M.G.M. Grand Hotel in Reno, Nevada. 2015 marks fortieth consecutive professional summer stock season as a director/choreographer.
Professor Nielsen was the Southeastern Theatre Conference's auditions choreographer for eighteen years. As an author, he had numerous articles published and wrote the award winning book DANCE AUDITIONS: Preparation, Presentation and Career Planning.
Professor Nielsen has been on faculty exchanges in Russia, China and Hungary, and taught on the summer studies abroad program in Great Britain in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. Documentaries on his work in Russia and China have be produced and televised in both the United States and in China.
In 2008 he was honored with the VSU College of Arts Excellence in Service Award and in 2003 he received the Dance Educator of the Year Award from Georgia's Associaton of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.