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 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 improvisation 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 curriculum at ISI and is being introduced among local community groups. In July 2018, I returned to Vietnam and Indonesia and conducted a follow-up 3-week residency with multiple local organizations working with communities that are vulnerable.
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 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 co-teach a weekly creative dance class for youths with diverse abilities at Animas Center. I am a facilitator for AZ TASH, a volunteer-driven state chapter of an international grassroots organization that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with diverse abilities. As part of my commitment to the principle that dance is for all, I also provide short, focused creative dance “moments” at local clubs and with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona.
In July 2017, I co-founded Dancesequences Inc., a nonprofit dance organization with the mission to advance societal inclusion through dance. Dancesequences collaborates 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; “Creative Movement” classes for Memory Care Units at several Continuing Care Retirement Communities; lecture/demonstrations on the theme of inclusion and dance at local schools; and opportunities for the general public to freely engage in creative movement at local outdoor green/urban spaces. 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.
I continue to develop and practice approaches to encourage and stimulate the art of inclusive dance through varied collaborations with artists and organizations of multiple disciplines, including Mettler Studios, Pima Community College, Satori School, Spirit Therapeutic Equestrian Program, Tucson Museum of Art and ZUZI! Dance Company. New collaborations with a diverse group of community organizations are being developed and expanded, including Pio Decimo Center, Integrative Touch for Kids, Hacienda at the Canyon, Splendido at Rancho Vistoso and Intuition Wellness Center. 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