Susan Cashion, a former professor emeritus of the Stanford Dance Division, died tragically Thursday morning when she was struck by Caltrain near Charleston Road.
The Stanford Dance Division posted the following note expressing their sadness at the lost of their colleague:
The Stanford Dance Division of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies notes with great sadness the sudden and unexpected death of Dr. Susan Valerie Cashion, Senior Lecturer Emerita. Susan taught Mexican, Latin American, and modern dance for thirty-five years at Stanford University where she was also director of the Dance Division for nearly twenty-five years. Susan received her Ph.D. in Education (Stanford University, 1983), M.A. in Anthropology (Stanford University, 1982), and M.A. in Dance (UCLA, 1967).
Susan was one of the founding forces in the development of Mexican Folkloric dance companies in the United States, beginning with her co-founding of Los Lupeños de San Jose in 1969 and the Ballet Folklórico de Stanford in 1972. Always broadly education-minded, she following this emphasis on the performing aspect of Mexican Folklóric dance with the 1973 co-founding of the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklórics, a national organization promoting the study of Mexican culture, dance, and music.
Susan has received numerous honors and distinctions including an award from the Mexican government for "significant contributions to the culture and teaching of Mexican Folklore in the United States of America" in 1980; an NEA honor aware for Pioneer Work in the Convergence of Traditional Hispanic/Latino Music and Dance in the United States in 1999; an honor award from the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose for Contributions to Multicultural Arts and Education in 2006; and several California Arts Council grants for choreographic works.
Because of Cashion's influence regionally, the Cashion Cultural Legacy was created to continue her work.