Employee Spotlight: Denise Carlson-Gardner

Denise Carlson Gardner March 2016

If you have ever attended one of UWGB’s Musicals or DanceWorks you have seen the work of Denise Carlson-Gardner. She is very passionate about teaching the art of dance to students and would like to invite everyone to this year’s DanceWorks production on April 1 and 2, 2017. Learn a little more about Denise in this month’s employee spotlight.

Name: Denise Carlson-Gardner

Position at UWGB:  Lecturer, Theatre and Dance Program; Artistic Director, UWGB DanceWorks

Summary of what you do:  I teach 12 different dance courses, choreograph all of our musicals, Direct and Coreograph our annual DanceWorks concert.  I am advisor to 3 student dance orgs.

How long have you been employed: 20 years

Brief history of employment with UWGB:  I am the main dance instructor for our dance and musical theatre programs.  I teach all genres and classes except for one… a one person program

Three words that describe you: Fun, compassionate, loyal 

Personal interests:  I love all things dance, hip hop music, sewing, crafting

Random facts/interests: Husband, Steve – Chemical Engineer, Jacobs Engineering; Daughter, Natalie – LA based Professional Dancer with MSA Agency.


(Answer any of the following):

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Sandra Bullock

If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be? Air conditioning 

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? pizza

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? Teaching and providing a safe, welcoming atmosphere for students to learn, grow and enjoy dance

What book did you read last? Gone Girl

What books are at your bedside? A notebook to write down choreography ideas

What do you like most about your job? Sharing dance and music with students

What do you like to do in your spare time? Talk to my daughter

What do you like to do on your days off? Sew

What is the first concert you attended? Aerosmith, the first time around

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? a house in California!

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? Not to stress over the little things and stay true to yourself.

What is your family like? Fun, interesting, compassionate, and motivated

What is your favorite meal?  Thanksgiving Day meal (and Italian food)

Hidden talent? I am multi-rhythmic, I can write forward with my right hand and backwards with my left hand at the same time!

What is your favorite quote? “Be the best you that you can be” and BANJI which is a saying in the hip hop movement Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? Sewing, crafting, movies

What one food do you wish had zero calories? Cheesecake 

What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love? Breaking Bad

What would people never guess you do in your role? Help students conquer fears and gain self confidence which then helps them in all aspects of life

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without? Diet Coke