Dance faculty member Lisa Stoddard dies after car crash

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The Department of Dance lost a beloved member of its faculty on Monday, April 28, 2014.

Lisa Stoddard, 45, died after a car accident on her way to join BYU Music Dance Theatre (MDT) performers at the Salt Lake airport. She was the choreographer for the members of the group who were to audition for jobs as part of the university’s New York Showcase program.

Stoddard had a large responsibility in the department in recent months with her positions in MDT, as jazz dance coordinator and department recruitment chair.

“We have lost an amazing colleague who loved her family, students, dance and each of us,” said Marilyn Berrett, chair of the department of dance.

Stoddard graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1993 with a BA in dance. She later attended Brigham Young University where she received a master’s degree in dance with an emphasis in dance choreography in 1996.

At the time, Stoddard was working for the department as an adjunct instructor.

Her influence has been widely felt as a choreographer, teacher and friend.

Hundreds of Stoddard’s friends, students and colleagues have already expressed their devastation at the accident on her Facebook page.

Crystal Sorenson, her younger sister, posted on Facebook a request for stories about Stoddard using the hashtag #DanceForLisa.

Friends have started a blog titled lovingmemoriesoflisa.blogspot.com with tributes.

“My very first semester teaching at BYU, Lisa was one of my 340 students. I loved her then, but didn’t realize at the time how much this young, beautiful, long legged dancer would impact my life,” said Becky Phillips, a former BYU dance instructor. “She became one of my own mentors as I watched how she balanced family and career.”

“Working along side Lisa for many years now has blessed my life and the lives of all of the MDT students at BYU,” said Gayle Lockwood, and MDT associate teaching professor.

Funeral details are pending

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