Caleb Dance Caleb Dance serves as associate professor of classics
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
This is year nine for me.
Q. What is your favorite course to teach, and why?
“The Eternal City” is a Spring Term Abroad course that I taught for this first time in Spring ’22 with Prof. Matthew Loar (Director of Fellowships). Maybe I’m picking this just because I taught it most recently, but there really is nothing like being with W&L students in Rome.
Q. What is the most satisfying aspect of teaching?
Learning! I love when I’m discussing a book I’ve read MANY times with students and they introduce me to new perspectives.
Q. Where is your favorite location on the W&L campus?
I’m partial to the library. The faculty are amazing and you can never go wrong with a visit to Special Collections. Tom Camden will show you something you’ve never seen before.
Q. What advice do you have for students (or parents)?
If you can, STUDY ABROAD! It’s a great way to remind yourself that a language, city, country, etc. is another kind of classroom.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Most things musical. I’ve long volunteered with a music education nonprofit named MIMA Music. We offer group songwriting programs in this area. I also play music as often as possible.
Q. Where did you grow up?
The Mile High City. I’m a proud Colorado native.
Q. Who inspired you to teach? What about them inspired you?
My parents are both professors, and they insisted—and modeled—that maintaining passion for your discipline is the most important part of teaching. They both taught speech communication and communication theory, and I still relish any opportunity to pick their brains about their areas of expertise. My sister also caught the teaching bug from them and she has taught me tons about curriculum design.
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
I did an unsupported bicycle tour from Portland to Denver with two graduate school friends—one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. It was also the only vacation I’ve returned from in much better shape than when I departed…
Q. What is the website you visit most often and why?
I’m an avid reader of the New York Times. My brother is a deputy editor of investigations there, and I also lived in NYC for a while. I read it most mornings so I can pretend to be a local while staying up to date on national news.
Q. If you could have coffee with one person living or deceased, who would it be and why?
I’m cheating on this one, but my answer is the Greek poet Sappho as she appears in Ovid’s Heroides. The Roman poet Ovid wrote a collection of poetic letters in the voices of famous ancient Mediterranean women and one of them is from Sappho. If I’m meeting Ovid’s Sappho, I figure I’m also sort of meeting Ovid, too.
Q. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
My two brothers, my sister and I were in a Big Band-style swing band (think Glenn Miller) in middle school with another Denver family. You could have caught one of our performances at any number of local malls.
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