Home » Faculty » Marita Cardinal


Marita Cardinal

, Health & Exercise Science Division

(503) 838-8023 | cardinm@wou.edu | NPE 218

Marita Cardinal, is currently a Professor in the Division of Health and Physical Education at Western Oregon University. She teaches courses for both the Division of Health and Physical Education and the Department of Dance in the areas of dance, exercise/fitness, and elementary physical education teacher education and dancer wellness, conditioning, and kinesiology. She grew up studying ballet and as an adult expanded her repertoire to include a variety of dance genres. In the 1980s, she performed in a variety of dance and musical theatre venues, including a Department of Defense Southeast Asia tour of the production, Godspell and a dance company in the Baltimore, MD area. She has taught dance to children through adults in private schools of dance, recreation centers, child-care centers, and after-school programs. At the university level, she has choreographed, directed a jazz dance company, and taught courses in a wide range of dance techniques. She received her bachelors and master’s degrees from Eastern Washington University and her doctoral degree from Temple University and previously served as a faculty member at Wayne State University. Her research has focused on curricular models for dance wellness education, conditioning programs for dancers, creative movement integration in elementary classrooms, and strategies for health and physical activity behavior change. Her publications can be found in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science; Medical Problems of Performing Artists; IMPULSE: the International Journal of Dance Science, Medicine, and Education; Kinesiology and Medicine for Dance; Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport; Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; and the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, among others. She has given over 56 presentations at the national and international levels, including invited lectures in dance wellness and dance education in South Korea in 1995, 2007, 2009, and 2014. She was a Visiting Scholar in Dance Science at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2009 and was a keynote presenter at a 5-day dance workshop in Bangkok, Thailand in 2014. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Dance Association and the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Dance Education. She received the Mario & Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Faculty Academic Advisor of the Year Award at Western Oregon University in 2008 and the National Dance Association Scholar/Artist Award in 2009.