I began my dance training at the age of 20, while I was a theatre major at SUNY @ New Paltz. I was told by my acting advisor that every actor should be skilled in dance. The director asked me if I was an experienced dancer, and I replied,” Yes, I go to the disco every weekend"! Well that answer didn't work. I was quickly instructed to take a dance class while studying theatre. I registered for Modern Dance I class, with Dr. Gloria Bonali. At the same time I would be fulfilling a 1 credit requirement for physical education.
It was 1973, when I first experienced modern dance in the university's dance studio. The professor had the class watch three dance films illustratIng modern dance pioneer and legend, Martha Graham and her masterpieces; A Dancer's World, Appalachian Spring and Night Journey. My life drastically changed from that time on.
I inquired how I could possibly study under the tutelage of the dance legend. Realizing I might be too old to start training dance as a profession it did not hinder my determination. A two-week Intensive Christmas Course at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance was being held during the university's holiday break. I soon found myself sitting on the wooden dance floor, surrounded by a wall of mirrors in the Graham studio on East 63rd Street, in Manhattan, NYC, participating in the Intensive Christmas Course. It was my first professional dance class and it was conducted by Martha Graham!
I inevitably went on to study dance and further my technical proficiency attending the educational system earning him a B.S., M.F.A. & Ed.D. credentials in dance. During the intensive years of study at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, The London School of Contemporary Dance, and The Juilliard School, is when I became acquainted with the icon on a personal level.
By 1975 I was studying full-time at The London School of Contemporary Dance: The Place, known for the Martha Graham Technique training, where he was a study-abroad student completing his senior year as a dance major at SUNY@Brockport.
While in London I received a call to be a guest of Martha Graham's when the Martha Graham Dance Company was performing at The Royal Garden Theatre in London. Several invitations eventually led me to speak to Graham privately backstage in her dressing room. Days later I visited her at her hotel and spoke to her on the hotel phone, while her beautician was preparing her hair. She insisted I come by the hotel on the following day to spend some time talking with her.
Later that week we shared a limousine ride to a nearby antique store in London!
Ed.D. in Dance & Dance Education, New York University, 1986
M.F.A. Performance & Choreography, Florida State University, 1980
B.S. in Dance, SUNY@Brockport, New York, 1977
As a former Associate Professor of Dance at Frostburg State University (FSU), Dr. Fischer served as;
(See Vita for extensive professional work and education)