Artist Statement & CV

Artist Statement 

As I age, I find myself contemplating truth-telling in dance. Truth-telling requires bravery. I am not always brave, and the works I make are not always brave works. But with each passing year, I find myself asking more pointed questions about art and dance, specifically questions involving truth. How do we move the truth? How do we vulnerably expose the secrets dwelling within a hand, a knee, a rib cage, a belly? And once exposed, how does the experience of being seen influence the act of seeing? As a multidisciplinary choreographer I am interested in complicated mixtures and ironic juxtaposition. Through movement, words, voice, and visual art, I strive to find intricacy in the ordinary, delicacy in the mundane, mystery in the familiar, and humor in the tragedy. The body is its own complicated mixture; it can lie as skillfully as the mouth. My relationship with my own body grows increasingly  complicated, and moving it with honesty requires bravery and patient persistence. As I create, I vacillate between stifling and releasing, hoarding and giving, hating and loving. As I move, I capture and reveal my body’s screams, lies, laughter, and longings.



2014     Movement Analyst certificate, Laban/Bartenieff Institute, NYC, NY                 

2012     Master of Fine Arts,  Choreography/Dance Performance, U of WI – Milwaukee 

1994     Bachelor of Arts, Dance,  Cum Laude, Western MI University, Kalamazoo, MI          

Continued Professional Development

2019                                                                                                                                                     The Creative Process: Choreography, Choice-making and Communication, National Dance Education Organization (N.D.E.O.) fall conference, Miami, FL

 Jazz Dance: Hybrids, Fusions, Connections, Community, N.D.E.O. special topics summer conference, Newport, RI 

2018                                                                                                                                                    Arts for Education conference,  Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Ontario

Panpapanpalya, Dance and the Child International conference, Adelaide, Australia

Process over Product, Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, Chicago, IL

2017                                                                                                                                         Katherine Dunham Technique symposium and master class, Evanston, IL

Sculpting Space, D. Kinnear & W. Pinchin, Physical Festival, Chicago, IL

Jazz Dance Theory and Composition course, N.D.E.O. Online Professional Development Institute

2016                                                                                                                                                          The Choreographic Mind, Susan Rethorst, Tulsa, OK

Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice, N.D.E.O. special topics summer conference, New Port, RI

2015                                                                                                                                                Dance Education: Engaging in the Artistic Process, N.D.E.O. fall conference, Phoenix, AZ

Collaboration for Dancers and Choreographers, Susan Marshall, NYC, NY

2014   Counter-Technique, Nina Wollny, Florence, Italy

2013   Space Harmony, Stacey Hurst, Chicago, IL

2012   Alexander Technique, Luc Vanier, Milwaukee, WI

2012   Dancing Voice/Singing Body, Meredith Monk, NYC, NY

2008   Modern dance pedagogy, Jan Erkert, Chicago, IL


2013-2020                                                                                                                           Assistant Professor, Tenure Track, Hope College, Holland, MI. Courses: Laban Movement Analysis, Composition I and II, Movement Fundamentals, Improvisation, Contemporary I-II, Jazz I, First Year Seminar, Dance History Survey. Additional: Concert choreography, Student Dance Showcase advising/producing, student advising, publicity/promotion, recruiting, academic boards/committees

2019                                                                                                                                                    Master teacher, International Congress of Performing Arts, Universidad                                  de Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. Master class: Contemporary

2018                                                                                                                                               Master teacher, Panpapanpalya, Dance and the Child International conference, Adelaide, Australia. Master class: “Jazz – Honoring History, Celebrating Community, Reveling in Rhythm”

2015                                                                                                                                                Master teacher, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Master class: Contemporary; Lecture/Q and A: Multidisciplinary Art-Making

2014                                                                                                                                                      Master teacher, American College Dance Association, Chicago, IL.  Master class: “Dynamic Performer”

2009-2013                                                                                                                                          Part-time Instructor, Hope College, Holland, MI. Courses: Contemporary I-III, Jazz I-II, Ballet I, Movement Fundamentals, Improvisation. Additional: Concert choreography, publicity/promotion

2012                                                                                                                                               Master teacher, American College Dance Association festival, Allendale, MI. Master class: “Voice and Movement”

2012, 2009                                                                                                                                        Master teacher, Dance In The Annex (DITA), Grand Rapids, MI. Master classes: Contemporary

2010                                                                                                                                                 Master teacher, American College Dance Association festival, Stevens Point, WI. Master class: Jazz

2007-08, 1994-95                                                                                                                       Adjunct Instructor, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Courses: Contemporary I, Jazz I, Improvisation

2000-2001                                                                                                                                        Adjunct Instructor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI. Course: Contemporary I. Additional: Director/Choreographer of Contemporary Dance Ensemble

Dramaturgy and Professional Work

2018-2021                                                                                                                                       Founder and Director, The Elephant Project, global initiative using movement and dance for trauma recovery. Tier 1: Re-Embody — Personal movement coaching and community wellness classes for individuals recovering from trauma. Community partners include Holland Hospital; Susan G. Komen Grand Rapids; Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Tier 2: A series of original, collaborative dance works based on the themes of fragility, trauma, loss, and body image, for audiences across the United States, Israel, Mexico, and Germany. Tier 3: A screen-dance created in Holland, MI, for audiences worldwide. Expanded version to include survivor interviews and movement therapy resources. 

2019                                                                                                                                                    Project collaborator, “Azul,” site-specific screen-dance. Release date 2020. Directors: Ana Baer, Heike Salzer, and Rocio Luna. Location: Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

Dramaturg, “Liminal” as part of Everything Has a Corner, Dovetail Studios, Chicago, ILChoreographer: Carrie Morris                        

2018                                                                                                                                            Dramaturg, “How to Move the Truth #4, as part of Seis Voces produced by Ballet East, Austin, TX. Choreographer: Sharon Marroquin

2013                                                                                                                                          Dramaturg, “Evanthel and Schnudi,” as part of Grand Valley State University’s Fall Arts, Allendale, MI. Choreographer: Carrie Morris

2012                                                                                                                                          Adjudicator, Student Dance Showcase, Eastern MI University Dance Department, Lansing, MI

2009                                                                                                                                                      Co-founder, Dance In The Annex (DITA), Grand Rapids, MI

1999- 2003                                                                        Founder/Director/Choreographer/Performer, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) Dance Collaborative, Grand Rapids, MI


2020                                                             ”She Laughs” eight dancers, Dance 46, DeWitt Theatre, Holland, MI

2019                                                                                                                                               “Cómo mover la verdad” (The Elephant Project), ten dancers, Universidad de Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

“You. Unearthed.” (The Elephant Project), five dancers, as part of Everything Has a Corner, Dovetail Studios, Chicago, IL, and Dance 45, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

“Lying, Winning and S Curves” (The Elephant Project), as part of Everything Has a Corner, Dovetail Studios, Chicago, IL, (June) and Women’s Work Detroit, MI (May). Participating Choreographer/Performer: Stephanie Rankin  

2018                                                                                                                                                  “How to Move the Truth #1 (The Elephant Project), two dancers, Exchange Choreography Festival, Tulsa, OK. Collaborating Choreographer: Alicia Chesser Atkin 

I Make Myself Your Door,” four dancers, Panpapanpalya, Dance and the Child International conference, Adelaide, Australia

Sketches,” four dancers, Panpapanpalya, Dance and the Child International conference, Adelaide, Australia. Collaborator: Nicole Flinn

2017                                                                                                                                                          “I Make Myself Your Door,” 20 dancers, Holland, MI. Collaborators: vocal director Jennifer Wolfe and members of the Hope College vocal music department, poet Katherine McMorris, musician Mark Lopez, and actress Akia Smith 

Under a Blu Sun,” seven dancers, Dance 43, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

2016                                                                                                                                            “Color/Form” (screen-dance), twelve dancers, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI. Collaborator: Carrie Brueck Morris 

Run. Chase. Swallow. Shift.,” three dancers, Dance 42, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

2015                                                                                                                                                “Color Boat,” 14 dancers, Newark, DE. Collaborator: Kimberly  Schroeder;  Visual artists: Dennis Beach and Donald McLaughlin

Glass Ceiling,” two dancers, Holland, MI, as part of the 2015 Dance Anywhere worldwide event

If It Rained Color,” four dancers, Dance 41, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI. Collaborators: visual artist Jessica Joy London sound designer Kimberly Schroeder

2014                                                                                                                                                “When the Days Become a Moment,” 20 dancers/singers/actors, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI; Holland, MI. Collaborators: poet Rob Kenagy; musician Nate Roberts

“you and me in relative time,” five dancers, Dance 40, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

2013                                                                                                                                                  Seal Steak…and Dirty Tulips,” six dancers, Dance 39, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI. Collaborator: visual artist Katherine Sullivan 

2012                                                                                                                                                    “Your Cheekbones…My Chin,” two dancers, MFA thesis, Holland, MI

Julio’s Cheekbones,” seven dancers, Dance 38, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland,  MI

2011                                                                                                                                              “Tangible,” three dancers, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI

Slippage and Delicacies,” solo, Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI

PSA on Diet Coke,” solo, Milwaukee, WI

Borkits on a Bench,” four dancers, Grand Rapids, MI              

And He Fell Among Us,” 11 dancers, Dance 37, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

2010                                                                                                                                                    “The Unnaming,” four dancers, Zelazo Center for Performing Arts, Milwaukee, WI

Truth is I Don’t Even Like Sushi,” solo, Milwaukee, WI

The Naming,” seven dancers, Dance 36, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland, MI

2003                                                                                                                                                        “Key of W,” two dancers, Kalamazoo, MI

Communion: A Gathering of Souls,” 13 dancers, UICA Showcase, Grand Rapids, MI

2002                                                                                                                                                         “If Not More,” two dancers, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo; Lansing, MI. (Recipient of the 2002 Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award)

Musical Theater Choreography

2014                                                                                                                                              Urinetown, Hope College Theatre Department, Holland, MI

2009                                                                                                                                                    South Pacific, Evergreen Ministries, Hudsonville, MI

2007                                                                                                                                                      Guys and Dolls, Evergreen Ministries, Hudsonville, MI

Performance Experience

2019                                                                                                                                                    “Azul,” screen-dance performer under the direction of Ana Baer, Heike Salzer, and Rocio Luna (for international release, 2020)

2018                                                                                                                                                      “How to Move the Truth #1,” Tulsa, OK

2015                                                                                                                                  “Color/Form,” Newark, DE

The Blind Ambition of Miss Columbia,” ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI

Glass Ceiling,” Dance Anywhere worldwide event, Holland, MI

2012                                                                                                                                                      “Your Cheekbones…My Chin,” MFA thesis, Holland, MI

2011                                                                                                                                “Tangible,” ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI

“Slippage and Delicacies,” Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI

PSA on Diet Coke,” Milwaukee, WI

2010                                                                                                                                                  “Truth is I Don’t Even Like Sushi,” Milwaukee, WI

2009                                                                                                                                              “Touching Peace,” ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI, Choreographer: A. Catherine Herrman 

Requiem,” Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI. Choreographer: Amy Wilson 


2019                                                                                                                                 Author: “Fueling the Creative Agency of Generation Z,” Dance Education in Practice, Volume 5, Issue 3

2016                                                                                                                               Author: “Releasing Your Inner Howler Monkey: Making the Transition into College,” Journal of Dance Education, Volume 16, Issue 4


2019                                                                                                                         Presenter: “Engaging and Equipping the Dancers of Generation Z,” N.D.E.O. fall conference: The Creative Process: Choreography, Choice-making and Communication (upcoming)

Panelist: “College Student Preparedness: A Conversation about Definition, Scope, and Engagement​,” N.D.E.O. fall conference: The Creative Process: Choreography, Choice-making and Communication (upcoming)

Panelist and member of ongoing national task force for “Jazz Dance in Higher Education: Moving Toward a Manifesto for Curricular Change,” N.D.E.O. special topics summer conference: Jazz Dance: Hybrids, Fusions, Connections, Community

Workshop facilitator: “Integrating Body and Voice: LMA for the Actor,” THE 162, Hope College Theatre Department, Holland, MI

2018                                                                                                                                              Presenter: “The Elephant Project: Dancing Toward Wholeness,” Arts for Education conference, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, ON

Presenter: “Building Your Dance Community, from Hallway to Studio to  Stage” Panpapanpalya, Dance and the Child International conference, Adelaide, Australia

Guest lecturer: “BodySpeak: Moving to Relate, Communicate and Express,” COMM 210, Hope College Communications Department, Holland, MI

2017                                                                                                                                              Presenter: “The Identity of Dance in a Christ-Centered College,” Arts and Humanities Symposium, Hope College, Holland, MI.

2016                                                                                                                                         Presenter: “A Contract for Accountability,” N.D.E.O. annual conference, Washington DC

Workshop facilitator: “Finding Power through Body, Effort, Space and Shape” WGS 200, Hope College Women & Gender Studies Department, Holland, MI

Workshop facilitator: “Integrating Body and Voice: LMA for the Actor,” THE 162, Hope College Theatre Department, Holland, MI

Guest lecturer: “The Body Speaks for Peace,” Critical Issues Symposium, Hope College, Holland, MI

2015                                                                                                                                                      Guest lecturer: “Communicating through Movement,” COM 101, Hope College Communications Department, Holland, MI

Workshop facilitator: “Embody Art,” Holland Arts Council, Holland, MI. Collaborator/Co-presenter: visual artist Jessica Joy London

2014                                                                                                                                          Workshop facilitator: “Integrating Body and Voice: LMA for the Actor,” THE 162, Hope College Theatre Department, Holland, MI

2013                                                                                                                                              Workshop facilitator: “Integrating Body and Voice: LMA for the Vocalist,” Women’s Chamber Choir, Hope College Music Department Holland, MI

Presenter: “LMA for the Athlete,” MAHPERD (MI Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) annual conference, Lansing, MI

2011                                                                                                                                              Panelist: Dance-artist panel discussion with arts critic Tom Strini, Milwaukee, WI

Service to Hope College

2016-2019  Secretary, member: Academic Affairs Board                                                   

2015-2016 Secretary, member: Faculty Committee                                                     

2014-2015 member: Curriculum Committee                                            

Awards and Grants

2019 Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development grant

2018 Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development grant

2017 Patrons for the Arts grant

2016 Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development grant

2015 Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development grant

2015 Patrons for the Arts grant

2014 Patrons for the Arts grant

2002 Michigan Dance Council’s Maggie Allesse “New Choreography Award” recipient

Dance Training

Improvisation and Composition: Susan Rethorst, Susan Marshall, Janet Lilly, Simone Ferro, Luc Vanier, Deb Loewen, Lindsey Thomas, Nina Nelson. Master classes with Molly Shannahan, Eiko and Koma

Jazz: Lindsey Thomas, Sharon Wong. Master classes with Billy Siegenfeld, Karen Hubbard, Sheron Wray, Melanie George, Penny Godboldo

West African: Ferne Bronson

Contemporary and Modern: Nina Wollny, Gerald Casel, Gerri Houlihan, Doug Varone, Cori Terry, Nina Nelson, Steven Iannacone. Master classes with Katiti King, Gloria McLean, Penny Godboldo

Voice and Movement: Meredith Monk

Somatics: Cheryl Clark, John Chanik, Trisha Bauman, Jackie Hand, Frederick Curry, Stacy Hurst, Elizabeth Johnson, Rachelle Palnick-Tsachor, Carol-Lynne Moore, Luc Vanier, Anne-Rene Petrarca, Eric Franklin, Shelley Senter, Jackie Villamil

Pedagogy: Jan Erkert

Professional Organization Membership

2015-present National Dance Educators Organization

Additional Skills/Interests

Multidisciplinary collaboration, collaborative creative process, movement analysis, movement coaching, site-specific improvisation and composition,  voice, devised theater, writing


Dad Quote #510 – “Sit right down and tell me everything.”