Part-time Dance Faculty 

Paul Hodgins

Paul Hodgins is a musician, composer, arts journalist, critic and educator who has worked with dancers and choreographers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for four decades. Currently, Hodgins is a professor in the Thornton School of Music and the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California, where he teaches music for dancers, dance criticism, music theory, composition and orchestration. Hodgins holds a DMA degree in composition from USC, where he received the Jimmy McHugh Endowed Composition Prize.

Hodgins is an important contributor to the field of choreomusicology, the study of relationships between music and dance. His 1992 book, Music, Movement and Metaphor, was the first extensive analysis of choreomusical affinities to be published. Hodgins has enjoyed a full career in two fields, academia and journalism.

As a dance musician and teacher of music for dancers, he has held positions at Simon Fraser University, Nonington College (Kent, U.K.), Eastern Michigan University, and the University of California Irvine, where he was music director of the dance department and founder of the Gassmann Electronic Music Studio. As a dance musician, Hodgins has worked with Reid Anderson, Alexander Godunov, Choo Chiat Goh, Jillana, Andris Liepa, June Mitchell, Grant Strate, Antony Tudor and many others. He is an accomplished keyboard improviser in a multitude of styles. Hodgins’ chamber compositions have been performed by the Kronos Quartet, the Current and Modern Consort, the Sierra Wind Quintet and other groups.

Hodgins has been a performing-arts critic for almost 25 years, covering major events in Southern California and New York. He has written for American Theatre, Backstage West, Electronic Musician, The Journal of Alta California, Journal of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance, The Orange County Register, The Sondheim Review, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Variety, and other publications. His critical writing won top honors at the 2019 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.


Darlene O’Cadiz   is a part-time Lecturer in the Theatre and Dance Department at CSUF. She began her teaching career in 1988. She has taught ballet, modern dance and jazz along with the GE courses Introduction to Dance and Dance and Cultural Diversity. Most recently, Darlene helped to develop a College Success course for the Freshman Theatre Students encouraging them to make self-discoveries so they can effectively and efficiently graduate and achieve their goals in college and in life. Darlene has also danced professionally with The Gloria Newman Dance Company and Dance Repertory Theatre.


Michelle Osborne   grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan and received a BA in Dance Performance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.

She has been a company member of Garth Fagan Dance Company in Rochester, Ny, Ballet Creole in Toronto, Canada, a guest artist with The National Dance Theatre Company in Kingston, Jamaica and a member of The Dallas Black Dance Theater for 7 years. She has also performed in "The Wiz" with the Dallas Theatre Center and as a featured dancer in the music video “Blackbooks” by Tessane Chin in Jamaica.

She previously directed and choreographed for the Junior Performing Ensemble and Senior Performing Ensembles at DBDT. She has taught for Ballet and Modern for Kitty Carter Dance Factory, DBDT, DBDT Summer Enrichment, DISD Summer Intensive, Contemporary Ballet of Dallas Summer Intensive, Spyceland Dancers Summer Intensive in Grenada, The National Cultural Foundation in Barbados and Edna Manley Summer Dance Intensive in Kingston, Jamaica.

She is currently Co-Founder of Dance Up Dallas, a 3week summer Dance Intensive and is teaching Modern dance as a part time faculty member at California State University at Fullerton. She is a certified Yoga and Pilates Mat instructor and teaches in the South Bay area.


Merle Sepel’s experience as an international judge began in 1993 when she was appointed as examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance.
Merle is a graduate and licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
She has taught ballet for in excess of two decades, initially in South Africa and then the U.S. where she opened the Academy of Dance. She has trained numerous dancers, many of whom went on to pursue careers with professional dance companies such as Austin Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, California Ballet as well as to major in dance at distinguished universities.

Merle worked for Mignon Furman for many years as a faculty member of the American Academy of Ballet’s Summer School where she was responsible for the teachers training course.

She is the director of Academy of Dance and American Pacific Ballet Company and is on faculty at California State University (CSUF).

She has developed and published The Enchanted Doorway Adventures in Dance© series of 5 dance training programs for the young child and is co-director of International Dance Acclaim.