Adjunct Instructor in Theatre


Salena Elish is a visiting assistant professor of dance. As with most dancers, she began her career very young, receiving her ballet training from Tama McGuire, alum of Interlochen Center for the Arts, and musical theatre tap and jazz training from former Broadway performer, Donni Holmes. She fell in love with the art of modern dance as a student at Indiana University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Elish moved to New York City where she wore the many hats of an arts professional, working as a dance educator, program director, business manager, choreographer and performer. She has studied dance pedagogy through programs at the Lincoln Center Institute (NYC), 92nd Street Y (NYC), and the Center for Arts Education (NYC), as well as kinesiology through Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, and has been on faculty at the School at Steps (NYC), Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Arts (Brookville, NY), Pentacle/Danceworks (NYC), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Salena has also been a program director and business manager for Keigwin + Company, Pentacle/Danceworks and Steps on Broadway in NYC, as well as River North Dance Chicago. This is her first year on faculty at Valparaiso University.


  • B.A. Dance Performance – Indiana University
  • B.A. Mathematics – Indiana University


  • Making dance performance and dance participation accessible to a larger population.
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