What is your movement history?
I started dancing when I was 3, and trained primarily in classical ballet. In college, I delved into modern and contemporary dance and felt an instant connection because it allowed me more freedom to express myself. Ballet made me used to black and white rules, but modern dance broke down those barriers and created space to explore movement on a deeper and more intuitive level. I realized that even the smallest gesture could have a powerful impact, and this led me to pursue choreography.
How would you describe your choreography?
I love the choreographic process. I see my dancers as puzzle pieces configuring in space to complete a series of evolving pictures, and there is never just one way to solve it.
I create experiences by cueing different movement challenges to inspire unfiltered responses and collective engagement. I love to observe as the dancers move in unique and varying ways as a means of responding to each other, and I search for those moments of spontaneity. Genuine reactions like a wince, shrug or sigh are subliminal messages happening beneath the surface–without words, the body shows emotion and reveals our truth.
What inspires your choreography?
I find inspiration in people, memorable situations, and in other art forms, especially poetry. I choreographed a piece to the poem “So and so reclining on her couch” by Wallace Stevens, and was intrigued not only by the words, but also the way Stevens spoke them.
What is most important to me is that my audience is emotionally moved. They don’t need to see it the way I see it. In fact, I love hearing different perspectives and interpretations of my work. My choreography strives to evoke an emotional response, but the analysis and understanding is fluid, and that’s beautiful.
What do you love most about dance?
My driving love for dance is that it is a vehicle for expression. Dance has a subtle articulation that allows the littlest movements to have a huge impact. I find beauty and interest in techniques like manipulation, contact, and audible breath. Hands are also highly expressive, and the strong association we have with hands and gesture gives them a fascinating power.
What led you to teach yoga?
I have been practicing yoga for about 4 years, and it has come to feel like home for me. This led me to attain my yoga certification, so I completed my 500 hour RYT at ANYA. Training to be a teacher let me further refine and explore my love for this movement practice.
How has your yoga practice influenced your dance?
Yoga has taught me to move with more ease. By nature I am detail-oriented, and yoga has given more tools to access those details as a dancer. Related to that, yoga causes me to be more present in my own body, and that deepened awareness carries over when I work with my dancers.
What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga?
Yoga class is an environment where I feel held and supported, and am honored to hold space for others. I feel the power of the group, and love leading that group through a movement journey, fully experienced from the beginning to the end of class. Finally, my choreographer self emerges and gets to play with how I sequence my class, informing where we go and what path we take to get there.
What’s your favorite yoga shape?
Triangle is my favorite yoga shape. It opens up my hips, stretches my chest and shoulders and strengthens my core.
What have you learned from the ANYA Method?
ANYA has taught me the art of noticing; reading and feeling the body as a source of information without any judgement. It has also highlighted surprising aspects of myself through body awareness. I have become more comfortable trusting that I am a multi-dimensional person. I can be sweet and bubbly, and also intense and serious. And that’s okay. Slowly but surely, all the various parts of me come together.