Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios
Creating Safe Space: Boundaries, Trauma and Communication
in the Dancing Classroom
How does one create safe space? Drawing on the lineage of the Tamalpa Institute’s movement-based expressive arts therapy, we will discuss practical tools for traversing personal boundaries, building trust, cultivating somatic resources, communicating intentionally and connecting meaningfully. When participating in dance experiences students are often asked to step outside of their comfort zones. This can be an empowering and exciting process as well as terrifying. The vulnerability that is often valued as a key component of dance practice can be difficult to approach for students, teachers, and supporters alike. It is especially difficult for those who struggle with trauma. Yet, by understanding the physiological qualities of trauma, establishing supportive boundaries and practicing clear communication many hurdles can be overcome. The potential for transformation within a creative context is expansive. We will practice movement scores that can be used in the dance classroom and modified to meet the needs of diverse groups. By moving, listening, and sharing with each other we will explore how we build safe spaces in our dancing lives.
Discover, Delight, Learn and Laugh: Movement Explorations That Spark
Humor and Ignite Fun and Enchantment!
When we invite laughter and give ourselves permission to play as we learn, our spirits are nourished at the same time as we develop stronger bodies and minds. Structuring improvisational activities (both dance and theatre-based) around a sense of whimsy creates a joyful movement environment for educators and participants. Improvisation asks that we listen, observe, trust and share...let’s share laughter and smiles with each other as we warm up our bodies, exercise our minds in solo and partnering explorations and then dig into group activities that build upon our previous work.
The Healing Energy and Yoga of Graham Technique
As Graham, the technique, is rooted in the emotive/psycho-analytic investigations and trauma processing of held experience in the subtle energetic levels of the body being harnassed to provide access an empowering of certain emotive queues in movement, it seems fitting that the slowing down and investigation of the root impetus of the core principles of the technical process are intrinsicly viable tools for reassessing and utilizing self-supported agency in movement expression and as a tool to ascertain the litmus of ones physical body in space. Given the right imagery this correlates to what many traditions may hold under the labels Yoga, atta-yoga, visualization, movement mudra, mudra yoga, and the like.
Fanga Dance, Song, Poem, Drum
Sumayya E. Diop
Participants are introduced to "Fanga"(drum rhythm) as expression that honors our relationship with the earth through dance, song, poetry and drumming. Sankofa is a Adinkra symbol from Ghana of a bird that represents past, present and future. In the workshop we discuss our connection to past, present and future. Griot is a storyteller that uses song, dance, music to tell stories. In our workshop we will discuss who the Griot is in our immediate or extended family. I provide drums for participants to use during the workshop.
Moving Through Social Justice: Movement-Based Strategies for
Unpacking Social Justice for All Ages
Brian J Evans
A Dance Theater Dream-shop for those practitioners of all walks interested in profound yet simple ways to open up their students to embracing differences and finding ways they ‘fit.’ We’ll use our 75 mins experiencing several simple dance theater activities that can be modified to fit your community and allow for avenues of discussion that will deepen your understanding and your classes’ connections to the form, to themselves and one another. Social Justice and its ever evolving definition can be a daunting subject matter for anyone to integrate into the space. This session will provide concrete tools and entry points for those looking for opportunities to Awaken Joy through Movement. We’ll unpack multiple iterations for the subtle application of Social Justice concepts to the room, fundamental structures of equitable communication and classroom set up, as well as more 'conspicuous' methods. Social Justice begins and ends with community. I Am Because We Are. This dream-shop hopes to build upon our innate human capacity for connection and to uncover ways through movement to create safer environments, empower our communities and strengthen the messages we want to show through the art of education!
Steppin' - Empowerment Through Body Percussion
This presentation will illustrate some foundations of body percussion, why it works as an inclusive medium to empower students and build cohesion, as well as a method for working with students. Participants will be guided through a warm-up that develops coordination and rhythm. Then, a variety of Step combinations and routines will be taught, including conference specific chants. Creative challenges appropriate for all ages will be explored as a way to find freedom and expression, while successfully collaborating with others. The historical and cultural context of Step will be articulated to support a broader awareness and understanding of Step, as well as how to achieve the Step aesthetic. In the end, instructors will not only have gone through an uplifting experience that unifies and excites, but will have a few tools to guide their own students through a similar experience.
Joy in Movement for Every Body - Body Positivity in Dance Education
Mary Pisegna Gorder & Rachel Stewart
Dance educators are well aware of the power, joy and freedom that can be found in movement. Yet, for many dancers, concerns about the size or shape of their bodies create feelings of stress or self-doubt. Because dance is an aesthetic art, and dancers’ bodies the artistic medium, students of dance are by necessity focused on their bodies. This has long equated to striving for a highly unrealistic body ideal. As a result, dancers are at much greater risk for negative body image and eating disorders than the general population. These problems are so prevalent that they are often considered an unchangeable part of dance culture, even ‘necessary evils’ of the industry and by extension, of dance education.
Since 2005 All That Dance, a private studio in Seattle, has challenged this perspective with Love Your Body Week (LYBW). Students who experience LYBW report a heightened sense of self worth and a greater appreciation for the value of their bodies. Creating a culture that is intentionally accepting of all bodies allows dancers of all body types to access and share radical joy.
LYBW is implemented in partnership with our chapter of NDEO’s National Honor Society for Dance Arts, and in 2017, LYBW was adopted nationally by NHSDA, opening up exciting opportunities for connection and collaboration between NHSDA chapters all over the country. This presentation will include an overview of the role dance can play in body image, including relevant information regarding eating disorders. Rachel Stewart and Mary Pisegna Gorder will share specific activities from the LYBW curriculum, including recent improvements and new resources, as well as general guidelines for cultivating body positivity within a wide range of dance training environments.
Brain-Based Dance Education: Fostering Joy, Safety, Empowerment and
Healing through the Concept of Relationships
This empowering and informative session will lead participants through the Brain-Based five-part lesson plan format as developed by international dance educator Anne Green Gilbert. Using the concept of Relationships (over/under, around/through, beside/between, in/out, above/below, together/apart, mirror/shadow etc) Anna Mansbridge will show how this flexible lesson plan format engages all learners in the joy of movement and creation, encouraging confidence and self-expression in an environment that is safe and welcoming to all. The workshop will model how the five-part lesson plan can be adapted for different teaching situations, including private studios, schools, and other community settings. It is organized as follows: 1) Warm-up (BrainDance), 2) Exploring the Concept, 3) Developing Skills, 4) Creating, and 5) Cooling Down. Participants will experience how diverse learners with different cognitive, physical and social-emotional needs and abilities, and from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, are empowered using this lesson plan structure. By being engaged in the learning process through problem-solving, collaboration and creativity, this approach allows everyone to feel joyful, safe and successful. A handout of the lesson plan will be provided, including a list of resources for future reference.
Happy Littles: How to Keep Preschool Dance Classes Running Smoothly
Ciara McCormack Greenwalt
Some of us have a natural affinity for teaching tiny humans, and some of us prefer to leave the crying three-year-olds to someone who is better equipped to deal with them. Regardless of which camp you fall into (or somewhere in between), this session will provide you with a new set of tools to keep preschoolers (and yourself calm) happy, and having fun for a full forty-five minutes. We will set community agreements, discuss some helpful guiding principles, and actively move through a sample pre-ballet based class. After dancing, we will sit down to discuss the reasoning behind the class structure and activities, talk about how to keep the class moving, solve problems in the moment, and tap into our patience. There will also be time for Q&A and open discussion.
This Is My Voice: Importance of Supporting Student Choreography
Marc Pacampara & Jenna Lindberg
In the spring of 2018, Foundry10 ran a dance competition to provide a platform for students to make a statement about an issue important to them using their own choreography and performance. Through individual and group interviews conducted with the students, they expressed the transformative effect creating their piece within the safety and support of their dance group had on them. When asked, “How do you think the skills you’ve picked up in this club/on this team will help you in the future?” responses were centered around skills such as time management, reliability, self-motivation, perseverance, communication, goal setting, and leadership. As a result of creating and learning choreography as a group, students gained a greater understanding of their own identity and recognized the impact sharing their ideas could have. Furthermore, because of this experience, the students learned the importance of combining music and movement in order to articulate those ideas to their communities. This presentation will share student growth through their own choreography process and performance, community support leading up to and during the show, skills and traits learned from the experience, and how the show was designed to bring about these themes.
Deep listening is centered on the question how can we truly tell someone’s story with as much truth and vulnerability as we can muster? It is about using movement-based expression as a way to bring humanity to the lives of those that will witness us. Class will begin on the floor listening to your inner and outer voice. How does your own personal story affect how you move and what you create? Activities will be done with partners or in small groups. In one exercise, the artists in class will sit back to back and use movement generated from the spine to share stories. Artists will explore trust by allowing a partner to be a guide, leading us through space as we recount our memories. Our guides will then use our stories to create movement to retell those stories in their bodies. In another exercise, dancers will share "I feel" statements as one dancer evokes movement in the body and another dancer explores the statements through written word. This workshop is about removing yourself from what you have placed on someone and becoming deeply involved at honoring their truth. It is about being seen and seeing, it is about being heard in your truth and hearing someone else's truth.
Keeping the Joy Alive for College Dancers
The transition from high school dancer to college dancer is frequently challenging not least because what was a hobby, a passion, a place to let rip and feel free away from the pressures of formal education becomes the site of judgement and evaluation. Dancers question their aptitude and facility amongst a new group of peers. And the demands of a rigorous full-time curriculum place new stresses on the body. In this paper presentation Watts unpacks some of the strategies she has been implementing at Cornish College of the Arts to try and help students stay connected to the ways dance practice can nourish their souls. These strategies connect to curriculum, assessment, mentoring, but also to culture and community in a department. Watts explains how prior experiences in a teacher training environment in Australia, and work with both early years and senior communities of dancers, has informed her approach to leading a dance department that strives to be healing, supportive, engaging, and joyful. In all humility she invites session participants to share insights from their own practices across sites of practice and to give commentary on the approaches she is trialling.
Healing and Hope for Incarcerated Youth Through Dance
Alison Young-Herron & Emmy Fansler
Arts With A Purpose Director Alison Young-Herron, and Emmy Fansler, Assistant Director and primary AWAP instructor, will share their dance/arts backgrounds and discuss how they have come to believe in the magnificent power of music, movement, and the arts to heal and empower.. The vast majority of incarcerated youth have faced significant trauma in their lives, and Alison’s & Emmy’s work with Arts With a Purpose is proving that dance can and should be part of best practices for trauma informed care. Learn how this program is changing lives, and attracting the support of people in our community. Take away a new-found desire to make your own dancing and dance instruction all about lifting ourselves and others to a higher plain... so that we can all become more compassionate, insightful, and JOYFUL in the process.
Based in Seattle, Lucie Baker choreographs, performs, practices, and teaches concert and social dance forms. She earned her B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School in 2008. As a professional performer, Baker has worked with established choreographers and emerging artists including Jane Comfort and Company, Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, Phantom Limb Company, Adam Barruch, Sidra Bell, Carlye Eckert, Wade Madsen, Tiffany Mills, Coleman Pester, Cindy Salgado, ilvs strauss, Annika Sheaff, Yara Travieso, Seattle Opera, Arc Dance and Chamber Dance Company, among others. She specializes in collaborative interdisciplinary dance theater. Baker began her teaching career with the non-profit group Artists Striving to End Poverty in 2005 and has taught diverse populations in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals, orphanages and disaster zones as well as formal dance studios around the world. She is currently a Predoctoral Lecturer teaching Introduction to Dance, Ballet, Modern, Improvisation, House and Swing at the University of Washington where she is a Master of Fine Arts candidate. Baker is also an Expressive Arts Therapist and received her education at the Tamalpa Institute founded by Anna and Daria Halprin. An anatomy enthusiast, Baker trained with Irene Dowd, attended the Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries intensive at Mount Sinai Hospital, studied in the UW Rehabilitation Medicine Department and is a Pilates mat instructor certified through the Kane School. Inspired by collaboration, Baker’s choreography has been performed in domestic and international venues since 2004. You can read more and see video of her work at http://www.luciebaker.com/
Liz began her dance training in ballet with Irina “Era” Wohner in Virginia and the Bella Ruska Ballet School in Rota, Spain, where she performed, taught and choreographed. Her dance education continued at Old Dominion University, North Carolina Dance Force and The College of William & Mary. Liz received a B.S. in Biology with a Dance Minor from William & Mary in 1995 with varied studies in modern dance, ballet, composition, education, dance and music history, Alexander and Graham Techniques, anatomy and kinesiology. In addition, she aided in designing outreach programs for local schools in Williamsburg, Virginia with the Multicultural Performing Arts Society. Moving to Central Washington, Liz introduced Modern dance technique to several studios in Yakima. Liz served as the Children's Division Director as well as Modern Dance and Adult Dance teacher at Columbia Dance in Vancouver from 2003-2015 where she taught, choreographed, served on the Board of Trustees and assisted in a variety of performances over the years. From 2008-2014, Liz served as a presenter for the SW Washington Early Childhood Education Tapestry Conference. She has choreographed and taught for Vancouver’s Journey Theater Arts Group summertime programs as well multiple main stage productions. Liz was an instructor at the 2011 Summer Dance Intensive at The College of William & Mary. She has been a teaching artist and choreographer with the Vancouver, Camas and Evergreen School Districts, and from 2010-2015, produced the studio-based performance "An Afternoon Of Dance" at Columbia Dance Center. Liz opened her own studio in 2015 in collaboration with the MIni Mozarts' Preschool and she began her own outreach-based children's dance company, MOTUS in 2016. She enjoys sharing her passion for the art of dance and the learning process with people of all ages as well as the challenge of working in varied venues and dance genres.
Serving most recently as The Principal of The School of Spectrum Dance Theater, Joshua Crouch worked to refocus the curriculum and training models to be reflective of the rigors of classic training pedagogies while maintaining the development of socially inclusive and discursive approaches to ecumenical dance training as a community tool. He has received training from some of America’s foremost modern dance and contemporary ballet schools including the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. His focusing of curriculum is on the empowerment and ennobling of the mission "Dance for all," through an appreciation and deep investigation of the intersectionality of many forms of codified dance , culturally-specific forms, and movement investigation--striving to find the balance between the artistry, agency, and service inherent in dance and dance language. While studying at Graham, he was offered a position with Graham II, the second company of the world famous institution. To this day, he remains deeply connected with the work of the Graham Company and has a passionate approach to the traditions and legacy of the Graham Technique and its history. Recently, he completed additional studies at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance in the Teachers Training Program and is working with the Martha Graham Resources to present a symposium on Graham in the Pacific Northwest. His cassical ballet training includes private coaching and a long mentorship with former Royal Ballet principal Keith J. Martin (emphasizing choreography, batterie, and demi-caractere work), as well as studies with Elaine Thomas, Ashley Tuttle, Ilona McHugh, Patricia Barker, Carlos Carvajal, and Alonzo King to name a few.
To quote Ms Graham: "I want all of my dancers and all of my students to be aware of the poignancy of life..."
Sumayya E. Diop
Sumayya E. Diop is a dancer, actor, drummer and teaching artist specializing in African and Afro- American Folklore and Culture. In Seattle since 1993, Sumayya has worked professionally with Arts Corps., Spectrum Dance Theatre, Centrum Arts and Creative Education, and The Power of Hope amongst others. As an actress, Sumayya has performed under the direction of Valerie Curtis-Newton, Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates and travelled state wide performing a one woman show, with Living Voices.
Sumayya is passionate about sharing the dance, song and music of the African Diaspora, and bringing youth to the stage using performance as a vehicle for increased self confidence, esteem, and awareness.
Brian J. Evans
Brian J. Evans is a Citizen Artist. As defined by the Aspen Institute, “Individuals who reimagine the traditional notions of art-making, and who contribute to society either through the transformative power of their artistic abilities or through proactive social engagement with the arts in realms including education, community building, diplomacy, and healthcare.” Brian has been working in communities for over a decade in all demographics internationally and domestic. Educational movement arts is the foundation of his experience. Drawing from an interdisciplinary background, Brian loves to dive into the discomfort of disconnection and use his skills to uncover the resilience of what and how connection lifts the whole community up. An artist striving for social justice, Evans places high value in process and product, having had most of his training out in the Twin Cities of Minnesota working with over 50 artistic directors on more than 200 projects from solo endeavors to collaborating as a self-employed professional performer & teaching artist. Brian J. Evans is a recipient of a 2015 McKnight Dance Fellowship, administered by The Cowles Center and funded by The McKnight Foundation. A former principal dancer and musical director for Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Evans has continued to investigate the idea that connections exist between us all and it's the responsibility of the Educational Arts to rediscover those connections, highlight them and allow us to feel holistically human. Evans is currently a Predoctoral Lecturer for The University of Washington & Master of Fine Arts Dance Candidate. www.brianjevans.org
Emmy Fansler dances, teaches, and choreographs from a core belief in the transformative power of dance. A relative latecomer to dance, Emmy began intensive ballet training at the age of fifteen and has since developed a unique style based on interpersonal connection. She persistently defies the exclusionary paradigm of the ballet world, creating radically inclusive dance spaces and choreographing to highlight each dancer’s unique story and strengths. She hopes to teach compassion, connection, and creativity through dance, knowing it has the ability to break down barriers and build communities. Emmy has experienced first-hand the life changing effects of dance, and her gratitude shines brightly in her teaching style.
Michael Galen is a performer, creator, and teacher based in Portland, OR. As a teacher, Michael uses his music and dance skills to empower students, connect them with their bodies and energy, and facilitate authentic expression. He has worked with the PYE Creative Community Model at Culture Jam and Joy Now Arts Project. Working with numerous programs with different missions has provided Michael the opportunity to work with diverse populations, including: under-served youth, adults with developmental disabilities, pre-professional dancers and musicians, professional actors, little kids, seniors, and adult hobby-ists. Michael is on the teaching faculty at Portland Community College, PHAME, and numerous other arts organizations. He always brings a joy to his teaching that lifts spirits and erases insecurities. In addition to his teaching and youth work, Michael is a busy artist as well. His work is seen on stages throughout the Pacific NW as well as on Comedy Central, IFC, Tedx, and TV commercials.
Mary Pisegna Gorder
Mary Pisegna Gorder (BS) holds a BS in Developmental Psychology and a minor in Dance from the University of Oregon. She began her teaching career at Musical Feet in Eugene, Oregon, as an instructor of children and teens as well as the Artistic Director of their Junior Company. Mary now teaches at All That Dance (ATD) in Seattle, WA, where she has been a faculty member for over a decade. At ATD she serves as Ballet Department Lead, has written and developed the ballet curriculum, and teaches a wide range of levels spanning all age groups. Mary is also ATD’s National Honor Society for Dance Arts Chapter Sponsor. Through her work with NHSDA Mary facilitates Love Your Body Week, and also mentors teen choreographers through the creation of their first works as co-director of the annual Student Choreography Showcase. As an educator she strives to inspire community connection, artistry, and self assurance in each of her students.
Ciara McCormack Greenwalt
Originally from Burlington, VT, Ciara McCormack Greenwalt was raised in the Northeast and small-town Nebraska. She began dancing at the age of five and studied strict ballet for many years before expanding into other genres, from modern and jazz to Flamenco and Kabuki. In 2011, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephens College with a BFA in Dance. Since graduation, she has performed with numerous companies across the country, and currently performs with Intrepidus Dance in Seattle. Ciara has been sharing dance with students of all ages since 2008 and has experience teaching ballet, creative movement, jazz, tap, and tumbling. From 2013-2015, she gained extensive teaching and administrative experience at Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of the Arts under the direction of Carmel Baird. She now owns and directs Moving Minds Dance, teaching and choreographing for numerous studios, schools, and community centers in the Seattle metro area. Additionally, she works for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Community Education department, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Evergreen City Ballet. Her passion as an educator is to support student’s growth, encourage their sense of joy and wonder, and facilitate their understanding of their world through creative explorations for mind and body. Ciara is honored to serve as DEAW’s Vice President after two seasons as Conference Director.
Jenna has been working to bring dance to youth in her communities for the last 15 years. With an emphasis in hip hop, she has worked both professionally and as a volunteer teacher, choreographer, performer, coach, and director. Also trained in other styles such as ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical, she is driven by a passion to share the transformative power of expression and self-discovery that dance holds, especially for young people exploring their identity. Additionally, her own professional experience as a performer in Seattle motivates her to help other local artists to realize the career potential that exists within their own city. Currently, as a member of the hip hop team at foundry10, Jenna hopes to use her background to further research in dance and hip hop to bring increased awareness to the importance of dance programs in our schools and youth serving organizations.
Anna Mansbridge, choreographer, dancer and educator, is originally from Australia and the U.K and now resides in Seattle, WA. She holds a First Class Honors Degree in Dance and Education from Bedford College, UK, and an M.F.A in Choreography and Performance from Mills College, CA. She has been on the faculty at the Creative Dance Center, Seattle, since the Fall of 1999 teaching all ages. In 2014 she took over the directorship of Kaleidoscope Dance Company upon Founder Anne Green Gilbert’s retirement. Anna has created many pieces for Kaleidoscope since she first started choreographing for the company in 1999. Most recently she collaborated with the Northwest Girlchoir to create “Stand Together” with 13 dancers from Kaleidoscope, and 215 singers. Anna is also the Founder (in 2000) and Artistic Director of Seattle Early Dance, a company dedicated to recreating dances from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Her directing/choreographing credits include Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo by Emilio De’ Cavalieri (1600), The Indian Queen by Henry Purcell (1695), La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (1625), and Wayward Sisters, an evening of dance and song from seventeenth century Italy. Most recently Anna was the choreographer for Christoph Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice (1774) presented by UW School of Music and Pacific MusicWorks. A review in the Seattle Times described her work as “effective and beautiful.” In addition, Anna has directed a DVD titled Baroque Basics: An Introduction to the Dance and the Music of the Baroque Period. Anna has been an adjunct instructor at Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington, and she is the Chair of daCi USA (dance and the Child international). She organized the very successful 5th National Gathering at the University of Washington, Seattle, June 2014, and she has attended international daCi conferences in Taiwan and Copenhagen, and national conferences in Texas and Utah. Anna co-directs the one-week Summer Dance Institute for Teachers at the Creative Dance Center with Terry Goetz, and she gives workshops in Brain-Based Dance Education both locally and internationally. She has traveled to Tainan, Taiwan, to teach a series of workshops at Tainan University of Technology, and in July 2018 she accompanied a group of 16 Kaleidoscope dancers to attend the daCi international Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
Lucia Neare is a 21st-century pioneer of larger-than-life theatre in civic spaces. Her mission is as much social and political as artistic: to confront urban dilemmas with the power of free theatre, and nurture community by inspiring radical joy in the public realm. In 2014, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation bestowed one of its inaugural Impact Awards on Lucia for these groundbreaking public works. A site-specific theatre artist, director, producer, designer, sculptor, writer, soprano, and de facto urban planner, Lucia combines these skills to create free, large-scale performances that transform miles of urban acreage into inclusive, participatory dreamscapes. Since 2006, Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders has employed her brand of North American magical realism to produce 50 of these works, which drew together tens of thousands in the Pacific Northwest. Neare’s list of awards, commissions, and honors reads like a Who’s Who of arts funders in the Pacific Northwest: 4Culture, Seattle Art Museum, Artist Trust, Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Seattle City Light, On the Boards, Seattle Arts Commission, Olympic Sculpture Park, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. In 2012, Neare received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award. The same year, she was appointed Artist-in-Residence for both Seattle and the city of Redmond. More recently, Lucia was Artist-in-Residence at ACT Theatre, where, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, she created a cultural think tank that did a “deep dive” into the intersection of theatre, technology, Millennial Culture, and the quality of public life in the Digital Age. To learn more about Lucia’s mission and work, please visit lucianeare.org.
Marc comes from a background of volunteering and community involvement. For over a decade he has been a part of numerous after school and summer programs for student development in the arts. He also has a strong background in hip hop dance where he has taught and coached at numerous studios in the greater Seattle area. What first started off as a passion for dance eventually grew into a love of sharing and mentoring those around him. Using dance as a form of expression, he helps those around him cultivate a strong voice of their own.
His love for the learning process keeps him driven to find innovative ways to help students learn and grow. Marc is excited to continue to work in helping find creative and artistic ways for students to find their confidence and voice.
Rachel Stewart (MA, LICSW) is a Child & Family Therapist with a background in dance and dance education. She received her dance training at Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington, and taught dance in Seattle for over 10 years. As a dancer, and then as a dance teacher, Rachel was keenly aware of the struggle her students faced in maintaining positive body image and self-esteem. Motivated by the importance of this issue in the dance community, in 2005 Rachel founded the Love Your Body Week program at All That Dance. Rachel continues to facilitate Love Your Body Week and is an advocate for eating disorder awareness and prevention in dance education. Rachel holds a Masters in Mass Media Studies from Temple University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.
Dani Tirrell creates movement pieces inspired by Dani’s queer, gender non-conforming, and black experience. Dani has danced with Jazz and Spirit Dance Theater of Detroit, Monroe Ballet Company and Dani Tirrell Dance Theater. Dani has performed and shown work at Black Choreographers Festival (San Francisco), Gay City Arts (Seattle), Bumbershoot: Velocity Dance Center Showcase, Showing Out: Black Contemporary Choreographers (Seattle), Young Tanz Sommer (Austria), Northwest New Works Festival: On the Boards (Seattle), Risk/Reward (Portland), Seattle Art Museum, and Erased (Color Lines Dance Ensemble) as part of Nights at the Neptune (Neptune Theater, Seattle).
Dr. Victoria Watts, Chair of the Dance Department at Cornish College of the Arts, is a dance educator, notator, scholar and activist whose professional engagements have spanned Europe, North America, and Australia. She holds professional certifications to Advanced level in Labanotation, in Benesh Movement Notation, and was elected as a Fellow of the International Council of Kinetography Laban in 2015. During her tenure as Head of Global Education Partnerships at the Royal Academy of Dance she initiated the Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing program that combined outreach, research, and professional learning for dance educators in relation to dance practice with seniors. In Australia she further developed this avenue of her work, consulting with arts organisations there to help them establish community dance programming for older adults, also volunteering weekly to teach dance in a residential care home. She remains an active collaborator with the Royal Academy of Dance as it works with members across North America who want to expand their practice to include work with adults. She has held teaching appointments at George Mason University, The Ohio State University, the Royal Academy of Dance, Roehampton University, and the University of South Australia.
Alison Young-Herron was raised by musical and theatrical parents, and has been singing, dancing, acting and putting on shows almost constantly since early childhood. She studied ballet as a child but didn’t return to formal dance instruction until her late 20s. For 17 years she studied jazz, tap, and hip hop in the Puget Sound area, then fell into becoming a hip hop teacher the same year she became a grandmother. Within a just a few months, she had jobs at four different studios, teaching up to 22 classes a week. She is co-owner of Applause Studio in Mill Creek, which opened in 2004. She served for 5 years as director, and spent nearly 12 years teaching hip hop, jazz, musical theatre, acting, and singing while also coaching and managing their Performance Team. Her biggest claim to fame as a performer was the chance to be a grunge cheerleader, dancing on stage with Weird Al Yankovic at the age of 52. (She has given her family instructions that this information needs to be carved into her tombstone.) Alison came out of semi-retirement from the dance world last year when she offered to teach Thriller to the teens incarcerated at Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett. In a few months that gesture turned into a full-blown arts program, successfully serving hundreds of youth affiliated with the Snohomish County juvenile justice system. Arts With A Purpose has enjoyed an affiliation with The Dance School in Everett as their partner non-profit, but recently became an independent state non-profit (with plans to apply for federal non-profit status soon) in order to better fund and expand their program to serve other detention facilities, as well as youth facing homelessness and other significant life challenges. Alison Young-Herron is married with five wonderful grown children, seven extraordinarily talented grandchildren, and two awesome mutts.