I am a dance artist committed to developing and practicing multi-disciplinary approaches to encourage and stimulate the art of inclusive dance as an instrument for building community. I am Co-Founder and President of Dancesequences Inc., a Tucson-based 501(C)(3) nonprofit dance organization with the mission to advance societal inclusion through dance. Since its inception in 2017, Dancesequences has steadily built a reputation of providing open-access, integrated dance programming with multiple community organizations in the U.S. as well as internationally. Prior to Dancesequences, I was Co-Founder of Evolve Dance Inc., a NY-based nonprofit dance organization, and served as Executive Director from 2006 to 2017. While in New York, I managed the Y Dance Program at the Family YMCA at Tarrytown with Evolve Dance and was Co-Producer and performer in the YDance Festivals and Evolve Dance Festivals. Since 2013, I have been based in Tucson, AZ, where I am trained in Mettler-based creative dance which explores the roots of movement expression through improvisation techniques founded upon the free approach to dance and movement pioneered by Barbara Mettler. I serve on the Board of Directors of Mettler Studios, Inc. and am a member of the International Association for Creative Dance.
In 2013 and 2014, I conducted creative group dance residencies at multiple sites in Vietnam for girls and women rescued from gender-based violence and affiliated program managers and staff. In 2015, I facilitated a 2-week dance residency in Indonesia in partnership with various local organizations and community NGO’s, including a school for children with autism, an LGBTQ support organization, Yogyakarta Institute of the Arts (“ISI”), and One Billion Rising Yogyakarta. In 2016, I traveled to Lima, Peru to provide creative dance classes for children ages 4 -13 overcoming the trauma of abuse. As part of the ongoing efforts to encourage program sustainability, I work closely with Mettler Studios to assist 8 staff members from Vietnam and 7 from Indonesia to attend the annual Mettler Studios Creative Dance Teacher Training workshop held every July in Tucson. I am thrilled that 2 organizations in Vietnam have integrated creative dance into their rehabilitation and reintegration programs at shelters for girls rescued from human trafficking and abuse; and in Indonesia, Mettler-based dance has been included in the dance curricula at ISI and is being introduced among local community groups. My subsequent return trips to Vietnam and Indonesia in 2018 and 2020 included master classes with local partner organizations serving populations at-risk and with university students looking to apply their dance training towards community-building activities.
Within the United States, I have taught children experiencing deep post-traumatic stress due to the effects of “reverse-migration separation phenomenon,” where infants were sent back to their home countries to be raised by extended family members and then brought back to the United States when they reach primary school age. I facilitated a workshop in San Francisco for staff from organizations working with populations that are vulnerable, i.e., new immigrants and survivors of abuse. In Tucson, I co-taught a series of classes for adults with Parkinson Disease and completed a 3-year dance residency at Arts for All, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides art education for adults and children with diverse abilities. During my tenure at Arts for All, I also co-directed the Arts for All Adult Dance Ensemble, a performing group of dancers with diverse abilities that presented original work at multiple local venues.
I continue to expand the potential of creative dance as an inclusive, communal experience by developing collaborations with multiple community organizations, including “Joyful Movement” classes at Sister Jose Women’s Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and nurture of women experiencing homelessness; “Creative Movement” classes for an afterschool program at Pio Decimo Center, a community organization servicing low-income families; “In Motion” classes for Memory Care/Assisted Living residences at several Continuing Care Retirement Communities; lecture/demonstrations on the theme of inclusion and dance at local schools; outdoor dance events for the general public to freely engage in creative movement at local green/urban spaces; and the very unique Dancesequences Equinimity Project of dancing with horses. The Dancesequences Repertory Company also shares original work at traditional and non-traditional spaces that speak to a variety of social issues we all confront on a daily basis.
In response to the current Covid-19 health crisis and to address the needs of providing a consistent creative dance experience, I pivoted from in-person classes to online ZOOM classes in April 2020 and have developed short instructional videos to help staff at senior retirement communities find ways of engaging with the members.
I hold onto the belief that every person can dance; and that through dance we discover connections with each other and with the world around us. dancesequences.org