Ann Dunn

Lecturer in Humanities
209 Whitesides Hall, CPO 2840

Office Hours

  • Wed: 

    • 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
  • Fri: 

    • 10 - 11 a.m.
Or by appt.


As a Humanities faculty member of UNC-Asheville since 1996, who teaches more than 200 students per year in four courses per semester, Ann Dunn has been a mentor and advisor to countless students both during and long after their presence in her classroom.  At the same time, Dunn has played a significant role in raising awareness of the arts of classical ballet and contemporary dance in Western North Carolina. She has supported community arts by serving on the Boards of Directors of The Asheville Arts Council, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, and The Asheville Choral Society.  She has devoted thirty-eight years to growing a small, unknown dance group into an internationally recognized, professional adult ballet company – The Asheville Ballet – which, in addition to serving its regional community with annual seasons comparable to those of The Asheville Symphony, has toured to France, Italy, and 23 states including such major venues as Chicago, New York, and Yale University. Her outreach work has made it possible for an average of 12,000 local people, including school children, abused women, youth residents of homes, child cancer patients, and prisoners to experience the wonder and healing power of the arts.  Professor Dunn teaches courses in The Medieval and Renaissance World, Art and Religion, The Arts and Being Human, and The Modern World. In addition, she has conducted Faculty Reading Groups in Shakespeare, Milton, and Italian Renaissance authors. She graduated from Indiana University – South Bend in 1972, received her Master’s Degree from UNC-Asheville in 1992, and her PhD program concentration at USC was in Shakespearian Studies with a secondary focus on The Literature of the Italian Renaissance. She has presented and published widely in these fields and in Dance Philosophy, History, and Criticism. Dunn was the dance critic for “The Arts Journal” for ten years, publishing monthly articles on dance history, theory, philosophy, and practice – including personal interviews with such artists as Tricia Brown and Anna Halprin.  Her awards include Most Distinguished Teacher in Humanities at UNC-Asheville, Best Research Article published by the International Journal of Arts and Sciences, and The North Carolina Artist of the Year Award. She has won scholarships to such writing retreats as Breadloaf and Weymouth, and graduated from The Aspen Institute's 2015, week-long WYE Faculty Seminar on Citizenship in the American and Global Polity. After professional training with the school of The New York City Ballet, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham, Dunn served as principal ballerina with The Hartford Ballet and The American Ballet. Over fifty years of choreography credits include “Turandot” for New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and “Amahl and the Night Visitors” for Menotti’s official U.S. tour. She founded Southold Dance Theater and The Indiana State Dance Alliance – both still thriving organizations – and served on the Indiana State Grant Panel. She co-founded The North Carolina State Dance Alliance. For 38 years, she has served as Artistic and Executive Director of The Asheville Ballet, Inc. (North Carolina’s oldest professional, non-profit ballet company) and as Owner and CEO of The Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Inc. Dunn has published three volumes of poetry, raised five children, and nurtured eleven grandchildren so far.