Elizabeth Wiehe is ‘en pointe’ to graduate from George Mason’s School of Dance


George Mason University senior Elizabeth Wiehe says that ballet is her first love.  

The School of Dance student, who is graduating this spring, grew up being classically trained in ballet. She chose George Mason because she wanted to explore other dance forms.  Wiehe, who is in the Honors College, also has a minor in journalism, and hopes to combine these disciplines to tell stories about dance. 

Elizabeth Wiehe. Photo provided.
Elizabeth Wiehe. Photo provided.

During her time at George Mason, Wiehe had the opportunity to work with visiting guest artists who came to campus. In her junior year, she worked with Fiona Jopp from Sydney Dance Company on choreographer Rafael Bonachela’s “Variation 10.” The piece was performed at the School of Dance Gala 2023. Learn more about the piece. 

Wiehe is also the recipient of the Distinction in the Journalism Minor for her dedication and tenacity in pursuing her minor in journalism with academic excellence. 

Wiehe has presented four of her own choreographed works at George Mason and her final piece was presented at the School of Dance's Spring: Dance Innovation at Harris Theater. She also danced in “Visions and Miracles” by George Mason professor Susan Shields and in Martha Graham’s “Steps in the Streets” during the latest George Mason Dance Company Gala. 

What’s your best memory at George Mason? 

My best memories at George Mason are the guest residencies that I've been a part of. I did a residency learning choreography by Martha Graham, who is the mother of modern dance. The historic piece we performed, “Steps in the Street,” was about women in the 1930s dealing with exile, grief, and devastation. As an all-female cast, we had to work together as an ensemble to share the intense emotions the piece was asking of us. It was also a challenge having to learn Graham’s technique that drives the choreography. Being able to challenge myself in those spaces was so fulfilling to me.

Elizabeth Wiehe. Photo provided.
Elizabeth Wiehe. Photo provided.
How have you grown while at George Mason? 

I was drawn to George Mason’s program because I wanted to study a little bit of everything—ballet, modern—and George Mason has the best programs for that. I also have a much better understanding of how my body moves. I'm a taller dancer and before I didn’t understand the power of being a 5’8” mover and the momentum you can have with that. I learned to push those boundaries and never give up on myself.   

What is your best piece of advice for incoming students? 

Love it 100 percent. Trust yourself and make sure that whatever you do is your passion. There’s a misconception that you have to be naturally talented, but really it just has to come from a place of love. If you love it enough, it's going to work out. The doors will open for you if you are willing to put in the work. 

What’s next for you? 

I always knew my post-graduation goal is to dance professionally, and George Mason has helped me do that. I’ll start working with Chamber Dance Project in June. Karen Reedy, the School of Dance director, told me about this opportunity, so I learned an excerpt from one of their pieces and [was hired]. It's very full circle in a sense because I never thought my first professional job would be en pointe.  

I also plan to use my journalism minor to bring attention to the dance world. Not many people are even aware George Mason has a strong dance program and I believe writing about dance to an audience who doesn’t get to experience it is really important. I love writing and how journalism brings attention to people’s stories that have yet to be told.