Erich Yetter discovered dance after a Texas high school football injury. He began studying with former Berlin Opera Ballet ballerina Ingeborg Heuser and continued his training with Fernando Schaffenburg in Ft. Worth, Texas; Ben Stevenson at the Houston Ballet Academy; and David Howard and Maggie Black in New York City.
Erich danced with Ballet Met in Ohio before traveling to England and Ireland, where he danced for a year in London and two years as principal dancer of the Irish National Ballet. Returning to the United States, Erich graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at El Paso before moving to Tennessee to dance with Ballet Memphis, where he was a principal dancer for 12 years. While still dancing, he received the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award and choreographed many pieces for Ballet Memphis, including a sparkling, full-length Cinderella. His professional experience includes dancing a wide variety of choreographic styles—from Petipa to George Balanchine to Trey McIntyre.
After leaving Memphis, Erich worked for a decade as artistic director of Peoria Ballet where he brought a heightened sense of professionalism and community participation to the company. His service also included 10 years on various grant panels of the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago, and in 2006 he received the ArtsPartners of Central Illinois Gem of the Arts Award. Erich has staged and choreographed over 75 works for ballet, theater, and opera companies. In 2010, he received a Master of Science in Higher Education from Kaplan University in Chicago, and was awarded a $10,000 “Arts Works” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to subsidize his production of Romeo and Juliet.
Erich went on to teach graduate and undergraduate ballet technique at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, for six years. He also served on the dance faculty of the Cleveland School of the Arts, Wayne Center for the Arts, Ballet Excel Ohio, and was on the Board of Directors of OhioDance. He freelanced as a choreographer and teacher throughout Northeast Ohio giving workshops at events such as the OhioDance Festival, American College Dance Festival Association, Youngstown State Dance Festival, The International Black Dance Conference, and multiple summer intensive programs. Erich has choreographed ballets for Canton Ballet, Ballet Excel Ohio, Ballet Theatre of Ohio, Ohio Northern University, Ashland Regional Ballet, The University of Akron, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. His works have been performed internationally and across the United States including Ireland, Guatemala, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, and Ohio. In 2018, he choreographed and designed another full-length ballet, The Magic Flute, for Ballet Excel Ohio, which was premiered at the historic Civic Theatre in downtown Akron. Currently, he is assistant professor of dance at Anderson University in Indiana, where his wife, Mary Ragna Yetter, serves as the university organist.
Erich joined the AU faculty in 2018.
Assistant Professor of Dance
BM, University of Texas
MHE, Kaplan University