Department of Dance Office: DC-S131     dance@csulb.edu     Phone: 562-985-4747     Fax: 562-985-7896

 

 

 

Faculty Bio Page

 

 
Andrw Vaca

Andrew Vaca, Department Chair & Professor

email: Andrew.Vaca@csulb.edu
Office Phone: 562.985.2024
Office: DC-S131

 

Andrew Vaca (Department Chair, Professor) began teaching at CSULB in 1999 after teaching at UCLA, Scripps College, Sacramento State University, and the Orange County High School of the Arts.  He holds a B.A. degree in Communication Studies from Sacramento State University and an M.F.A. in Dance from UCLA.  In the Department of Dance, Professor Vaca is known as the “jazz dance specialist”, teaching jazz technique classes regularly.  Other courses that Vaca teaches include Creative Dance For Children, Dance Pedagogy, Improvisation, and all levels of Modern Dance Technique.  In 2007, he became the Assistant Department Chair of Dance, and just completed a year as Interim Department Chair.  A native of Sacramento CA, Vaca began dancing with Dale Scholl in the Jazz-ee Dance Company, and later in Jazzworks and Dale Scholl Dance/Art.  Since leaving Sacramento, Vaca has danced with the UCLA Dance Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Keith Johnson/Dancers, Bodytalk, and Roman DanceTheatre.  At CSULB, Vaca has had the privilege of dancing for choreographers Keith Johnson, Susan McLain, and Dan Wagoner.  Dance teachers who have greatly influenced Vaca’s career include Terri Best, Ronald E. Brown, Pat Catterson, MaDonna Grimes, Sharon Kinney, Doug Nielsen, Dale Scholl, Risa Steinberg, Dan Wagoner, and Joan Woodbury.

As a choreographer, Vaca is known in the worlds of both sports entertainment and concert dance.  Since 1999, Vaca has premiered 16 original dances for the CSULB Department of Dance.  He has received commissions from the Nannette Brodie Dance Theater and the Pulse Dance Company.  In 2005, he staged his popular dance Swoon, Croon, & Swing on the University of Utah’s Performing Dance Company.  His choreography has also been produced at the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival (2006, 2007, 2009), the South Coast Dance Arts Alliance Festival (2005, 2006), the WAC is Back festival at UCLA, and most recently at the SoCal Dance Invitational.  In 2004, he was Assistant Choreographer on two episodes of Molly Shannon’s sitcom, “Cracking Up!”  In the world of concert dance, Professor Vaca has worked as an assistant to Tony Award winner Twyla Tharp, and has choreographed material for Bodytalk and Roman DanceTheatre, as well as the Orange County High School of the Arts, Scripps College, and UCLA.  In 2005, Vaca founded Jazzworks-Long Beach as a pick-up company of dancers dedicated to presenting concert jazz dance, and he continues to present work with JLB when his crazy life at CSULB allows.

For over 25 years, Vaca has choreographed dance material for NBA and NFL dance teams across the country including the Los Angeles Laker Girls and Clippers Spirit, the Portland Trailblazerdancers, the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders, the Sacramento Kings Fastbreak, the San Diego Charger Girls, the Indiana Pacemates, the Boston Celtics Dancers and the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush.  As a part of his on-going connection to the Boston Celtics Dancers, Vaca was featured in a 2010 reality series on Comcast Sports, The Celtics Dancers:  the Dance for 18.  Vaca has had the privilege of choreographing large halftime spectaculars for the NFL through e2k Entertainment, including the 2001 and 2007 United Way Thanksgiving halftime shows for the Detroit Lions and the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl.  Vaca has choreographed award-winning material for dance teams in California, Idaho, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah, presented at numerous professional dance team conventions, and has choreographed for the Texas All-State Dance Team and the Drill Team Directors of America All-Star Dance Team.  Vaca has been professionally associated with the United Spirit Association for over 25 years as a head instructor and director of dance, and continues his association with USA and Varsity Spirit as an adjudicator of national and international competitions.  In 2010, Vaca joined the teaching faculty of Pro Action Dance, the leader of professional sports choreography.

Vaca took students to performin at the Pro Bowl in HawaiiVaca teaching choreographyVaca with dancers from his Faculty Concert piece