Movement and rhythm are universal. Dance is a form of emotional expression found in every culture and in every corner of our world. Although we differ in language and beliefs, dance is a constant outlet for celebration–from marriage to birth to victory in war to victory on the football field. At the core of all dance movement is emotion, and emotion is inherent in all human beings. After graduating from high school, I followed my passion for performance and teaching all the way to the west coast where I was a member of the Young Americans Music Outreach Program, working with underprivileged and troubled teenagers. It was here that I cultivated my desire to help others explore the medium of music and dance as a therapeutic tool for personal growth and interpersonal connection. I next had the privilege of studying at the prestigious New York University–everything from post-modern choreography to Indonesian theatre to African dance and drumming. This path of enlightenment culminated in my earning (and creating) a degree in “Anthropology with a Focus on Music, Dance, and Theatre” from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. While some might question the validity of dance as a form of scholasticism, I would argue that the scientific underpinnings of why we so often feel the need to “shake a tailfeather” are indeed tangible. Every human culture throughout space and time has utilized dance as a mode of personal and communal expression–in times of grief, in times of joy, in times of war, and in times of peace. Therefore, dance is, at its simplest, a means of communication. An interaction without words. Raw emotion. This is why I am so passionate about using the medium of dance to communicate across the barriers that exist in our world–be they socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic, locational, or even related to gender or age. The primal urge for movement is inherent in all of mankind.
With 20 years of dance experience, I have a background in belly dancing, African dance, Japanese dance, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, pointe, and the more standard ballet, tap, and jazz. Currently, I am working with students of all ages in the Omaha area–literally from ages 1-90. I have taught for the Omaha Community Playhouse, Arts for All, the Jewish Community Center, the Bellevue Senior Center, Motion 41 Dance, the Papillion-LaVista Arts Network, the Salvation Army Kroc Center, and the Omaha Academy of Ballet. In my spare time, I enjoy performing throughout the Omaha theatre community and am always striving for more exposure to this medium I love so much. I am beyond thrilled to be working with WhyArts? and am hoping to share my love for dance with even more members of the community.