Most anyone in South Carolina with the slightest interest in dance would recognize the name of the late Robert Ivey. For decades, he was a beloved dancer, choreographer, instructor and College of Charleston professor. In each of those roles, he lifted others up through the moving power of dance.
In 2017, the College’s Robert Ivey Scholarship in Dance became fully endowed thanks to a reinvigorated effort by friends and family. Among those leading the charge were Matthew Kennedy ’01, a former student of Ivey while on a dance scholarship, and adjunct professor Eliza Ingle, a close colleague of Ivey.
These efforts doubled the scholarship fund that was created in 2011, when Ivey retired from the College so that it’s primed to ensure that others are able to follow in Ivey’s path.
Ivey began teaching at the College in the early 1980s and became a full-time professor in 1993. He taught dance technique in ballet and modern 20th-century dance, introduction to theater, history of dance, choreography, dance ensemble and the popular Maymester course on the Spoleto Festival.
The College was pleased to welcome its first Ivey scholar in the 2018–19 school year. Recipient Bethany Rupert ’20 is a double major in psychology and dance with a concentration in performance and choreography. A native of Charleston, Rupert furthers her ballet and modern dance training at CofC and the Robert Ivey Ballet Academy, where she currently teaches. After graduation, she plans to continue teaching dance to students of all ages and become a dance therapist for people with disabilities.
“I am honored to be the inaugural Robert Ivey Scholar,” says Rupert. “I am grateful that I get to share dance with the next generation of dancers, just like Robert Ivey so passionately did.”
Gretchen McLaine, associate professor and director of the dance program, says Rupert’s passion and dedication to dance made her an obvious choice
as the scholarship’s first recipient.
“Bethany embodies all of Bob’s most wonderful qualities,” says McLaine. “She is generous, dedicated and humble.” – Maura Hogan ’87