The company consists of individuals joined through their mutual love of dance. The Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company provides exciting performing and educational opportunities, develops artistic and personal growth, and cultivates strong bonds and lasting friendships. Many veteran members return to audition every year, some remaining four to five years with the company before graduating from Cal Poly.

Company members and guest dancers perform a variety of dance styles including Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap, World, and social dance forms. Dances are choreographed by faculty, guest artists, and students. Student choreography is selected through an audition process after company membership is established.

The main focus of fall and winter activities is the production of the winter quarter dance concert. Other performance activities include the American College Dance Association adjudication concerts and Cal Poly Open House performances. The Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company features notable professional guest choreographers each year who create original choreography for the Orchesis dancers.


A native Korean, Moon Ja Minn Suhr was born in China and lived in Japan until the age of five when she moved back to Seoul, Korea. She received a Master’s degree in Dance from Ewha Women's University in Seoul, Korea. She taught dance for four years before she came to the United States in 1967.

Dr. Suhr received her Masters degree in Dance Education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1969. In the same year, she came to Cal Poly as a dance faculty member, and also founded the Orchesis Dance Company. In 1988, Dr. Suhr received her Ph.D. degree in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman's University in Denton.

Dr. Suhr directed the Orchesis Dance Company for 30 years, from 1970 to 2000.

The founder of the original Orchesis company was Margaret H’Doubler who also started the first dance major at the University of Wisconsin in 1926. See the link below for more information.

Image Credit: Brittany App
2020, 50th annual concert: "50"
Choreography by Mike Esperanza (guest artist)
Lighting Design by Clint Bryson (staff)
Dancers: 2019-20 Orchesis Dance Company members

Related Content