Dana Vanderburgh

Graduate Assistant, Strategic Alumni Engagement

Dana Vanderburgh

Dana Vanderburgh is currently a PhD student in Anthropology. In 2018, she graduated from IU with a dual BA/MA degree in International Studies from the School of Global and International Studies. She also completed an undergraduate degree in French and a minor in Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Formerly a pre-professional ballet dancer, Dana has a love of dance and other forms of art that inspires her to look at the world and its people in a creative way.

Once injuries forced Dana to stop her ballet training, she found that she was able to combine her love of dance and the world by working with the non-profit organization, Movement Exchange. Through her work with Movement Exchange, Dana has learned the value in using dance as a means of empowerment and social change and has spent time in both Panama and the US engaging in dance outreach. Dana has also spent four summers in Ghana studying and working at a music center in order to expand her artistic and cultural knowledge.

At the Walter Center, Dana currently serves as the Graduate Assistant for Strategic Alumni Engagement where she helps to engage alumni to provide opportunities for students to network and learn from professionals in many fields.

In her free time, Dana enjoys being outdoors, traveling, dancing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Early Career Aspirations


Ever since she was 3 years old, Dana knew she wanted to be a dancer. Consequently, the next 17 years were spent in dance studios and theatres around the country in order to achieve this goal. Her training eventually led her to IU where she began her path towards a professional ballet career until she had to re-assess her career goals when she became injured. Though she will not be the professional ballerina she once desired to be, she has realized that ballet was only a stepping-stone to an even more rewarding career in using dance to make a positive difference around the world!

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