- Existence: 1934-
Francoise Martinet was born in Morocco at the time of the French in Casablanca. The family moved to Spokane, Washington in 1949 where Martinet found a dance teacher. At age fifteen she went to New York trying to pass as eighteen and attempted to join a dance club. Her ruse did not work and she returned to Spokane. She sought advice from dance teacher Mary Anne Wells, known as the teacher of leading dancers Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. Eventually she studied with Robert Joffrey in New York city.
When Martinet came to the University of Iowa in 1978 the dance program was a part of the Department of Physical Education for Women. Students could acquire a B.A. in physical education with a certificate in dance. The program has since become a fully autonomous program with BA, BFA, and MFA degrees. Martinet retired from the University of Iowa Dance Department in December, 1997.