Hamburg, Janet

Year Inducted: 
Janet Hamburg
  • Winner of the University Continuing Education Association’s 2005 Outstanding Noncredit Program Award for her exercise DVD Motivating Moves for People with Parkinson’s
  • Senior Research Associate for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York
  • Associate of the Gerontology Center
  • 2004: received first-ever Laban Award for Creative Achievement by an artist or researcher
  • 2005: received KU W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence
  • 2005: Phoenix Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement presented by Lawrence Arts Commission

Janet Hamburg is known as a tireless and dedicated worker, as a talented individual, as one who contributes unselfishly, as one who is nationally and internationally respected, and as one who has enriched her students and the University community.  Janet Sharistanian, Associate Professor of English, states, “She is extremely active professionally…; is a choreographer, author, researcher, teacher, and colleague of distinction…”  Elizabeth Schultz, Professor of English, adds she “in her integrity, in her her vision, in her activity represents the University at its finest, in its dedication to realizing our full human potential.”  Ms. Hamburg graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Social and Urban Systems Engineering, received a Master of Arts in Dance, a C.M.A. in Laban Movement Analysis, and an Elementary Teaching Certificate in Labanotation. 

Ms. Hamburg has published widely in the United States and around the world, as well as being sought out as a teacher and lecturer.  She has been nationally recognized for her work in Laban Movement Analysis and for her research on movement problems of dancers, children, and athletes.  She came to the University of Kansas in 1979 and served as an Associate Professor of Music and Dance Director of the Program in Dance.  During these years, she has served on numerous executive committees in the University community.  In 1985, in working for the dance program’s transferal from the School of Education and its transformation in the School of Fine Arts, Elizabeth Schultz noted she “she done what, to my knowledge, no other faculty member at KU can claim; she has created almost single-handedly and against considerable odds what has become in a relatively short time a department of stature.  She has done so because she has given of herself unstintingly to develop a superb faculty, a growing student body, and a challenging curriculum.”  Ms. Hamburg has recruited professional faculty members and throughout the years has received numerous grants to bring nationally renown dancers for short residencies.  Sharistanian adds, “[she] has provided the crucial leadership, made the connections between dance and music, dance and the humanities, and dance and movement analysis, and infused the program with ambition, vision, and drive.”  Surely, though, the most gratifying comments come from her students.  In their 1991 evaluations, an overwhelming majority ranked all aspects of her class with an “A” rating.  Ms. Hamburg is truly KU’s own ambassador of dance.

  • Follow your passion. By the time I went to college, I thought I should major in something practical so I graduated with a degree in social and urban systems engineering, based in civil engineering. When I missed my graduation ceremony because I was performing in a work by modern dance master choreographer Merce Cunningham, I realized how important dance was to me.
  • Human beings are incredibly adaptable creatures. We never know what challenges we may face, but the human mind and body are capable of great change.

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