Cover photo for Charlotte Irey Short's Obituary
Charlotte Irey Short Profile Photo
1917 Charlotte 2017

Charlotte Irey Short

November 30, 1917 — January 2, 2017

Professor Emeritus Charlotte Irey Short, a longtime resident of Boulder and Academic Director of Dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1973 to 1988, died January 2, 2017. She was 98 years old. Charlotte was born in Oklahoma City, OK, the daughter of Charles William and Lottie Upsher York, on April 29, 1918. She married Professor Eugene Irey, a native of Boulder, on June 10, 1942 in Oklahoma City. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Susan Irey Byrne, in 1981 and by her husband,Eugene, in 1985. On November 10,1999 she married Harold Short, a longtime friend. Harold also preceded her in death in 2007. Following her study of dance in Germany in 1935 with Mary Wigman, an early pioneer of modern dance, Professor Irey studied at Lindenwood College, St. Louis, MO. After two years at Lindenwood she transferred to the University of Wisconsin Madison where she received a B.S. degree in Dance, graduating with honors. Charlotte received a M.A. degree in Theatre from the University of Colorado in 1965. Her professional training included work with modern dance notables Charles Weidman, Pauline Kroner, Doris Humphrey, and Merce Cunningham. Professional performing experience included appearances in the summer companies of Jean Erdman and Pearl Lang, as well as in local dance groups in Oklahoma and Colorado. Her teaching career began at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she met her first husband Eugene Irey. The lreys moved to Boulder in 1944, at which time Professor Eugene Irey joined the Department of English at the University of Colorado and Charlotte was employed by the Boulder Public Schools to teach creative dance. In 1945, she joined the Department of Physical Education for Women at the University of Colorado, where she began to develop a degree program in Dance. When the dance program moved from the Physical Education Department to join with the Theatre Department, to become the Department of Theatre and Dance, Professor Irey was instrumental in the establishment of a B.A. degree, a B.F.A. degree, and a M.F.A. degree in Dance. In addition to having published, Charlotte choreographed for the UCB modern dance group, for musical comedies, and operas. She began the Dance Caravan, a university student group, which toured Colorado elementary and secondary schools presenting lectures and demonstrations. Professor Irey was active in local and national organizations, serving twice as president of the National Dance Association and as founding member of the Council of Dance Administrators. The National Dance Association named Charlotte as the Scholar of the Year in 1982, and in 1990 as the Heritage Honoree. Professor Irey was honored by the University of Colorado for her personal influence, teaching and contributions to dance, receiving both the Robert L. Stearns Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award. The dance studio/theatre on the Boulder campus was named in her honor. A memorial service will be held in the Phillips Chapel, Frasier Meadows Retirement Community, 350 Ponca Place, Boulder, on March 3rd at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Charlotte York Irey Scholarship Fund, c/o University of Colorado Foundation,1800 Grant Street, Suite 725, Denver, CO 80203 or to the Frasier Meadows Retirement Community, 350 Ponca Place,Boulder, CO 80303.
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