He left campus almost a decade-and-a-half ago, master’s in hand, but Duane Cyrus’ dance education continues all these years later, thanks to one particular UI professor.
“Dr. Cynthia Oliver always welcomes and supports her former students. I am learning from her to this day,” says Cyrus (BFA 2005).
Now a university professor himself at North Carolina-Greensboro, Cyrus’ favorite UI memory isn’t about a performance or place. It’s about people — “the amazing, fashionable and creatively active professors in the dance department,” he says.
“Many of them were as productive off campus as on, presenting work in high-profile venues across the country and internationally.”
Looking back now, he has but one regret about his time in C-U — not thinking to capture the mid-2000s moment when he shared a room with a promising U.S. senator at a fellow student’s house.
“I don’t recall the address but can see the event as clear as day. Another U of I student who was also my neighbor invited me and I was impressed by meeting our future president — Barack Obama.
“My only regret was that I did not pose for a picture with him.”