Kennesaw State University College of the Arts mourns Dance professor Nathan Hites

 image of Nathan Hite
Nathan Hite (1972-2021) will be remembered for his passion for dance and for inspiring his students. 

Professor, researcher, and historian remembered for his passions in teaching and dance

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 22, 2021) — Kennesaw State University College of the Arts mourns the loss of Department of Dance professor Nathan Hites, who passed away March 17, 2021. Mr. Hites, who taught at both KSU and Emory University, was a dance researcher and historian for Atlanta Ballet.   

KSU Dance professor Sean Nguyen-Hilton got to know Mr. Hites when they were both working at Atlanta Ballet. Mr. Nguyen-Hilton said, “Nathan was a dedicated teacher and knowledgeable dance historian. He taught with care, precision, and a vast knowledge of the ballet vocabulary, as well as dance history and pedagogy. I know of many students who were not only taught by Nathan, but also inspired by him.”

Mr. Hites excelled at teaching. Marsha Barsky, chair of KSU’s Department of Dance, said, “It was so apparent that he was a devoted and passionate teacher who cared deeply for his students and promoted their intellectual and artistic growth.”

Hites has been a guest teacher for staibdance, Proia Dance Project, The Perimeter Ballet, Terminus School of Modern Ballet and Dance 101. He joined the Emory Dance Faculty in the fall of 2019 to teach Ballet I and Ballet III, while concurrently teaching at Kennesaw State University. Mr. Hites also served as coordinator for United Dance Europe/United Dance America, an organization that focuses on dance for individuals with Down Syndrome.

“The Atlanta dance community has lost an incredibly bright light. Nathan's passion for dance was infectious, as was his smile. His beautiful, generous spirit will be missed," said KSU Dance professor McCree O'Kelley. 

Mr. Hites received his BA in theatre and dance from the University of New Hampshire and spent summers at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. He furthered his studies at The Boston Ballet School and The Green Street Studios in Boston, MA, and The Paul Taylor and The José Limón Schools in NYC. He performed in a wide repertoire of classical and contemporary roles and collaborated on the creations of numerous contemporary works.

In 2011, Mr. Hites joined the faculty of the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education and taught students of both the Pre-Professional/Academy Division and the Adult Open Division. Additionally, he created the dance history program and taught the curriculum to professional track students. As Atlanta Ballet’s Resident Dance Researcher/Historian, he regularly lectured to Atlanta Ballet audiences and various schools and institutions in the metro Atlanta area. He was also a program writer for both the Atlanta Ballet and Boston Ballet. 

Mr. Nguyen-Hilton added, “Nathan will be sorely missed. He was a staple in the Atlanta dance community and could be found at many performances, big and small, supporting various organizations and individuals. May he rest in peace.”

--Kathie Beckett