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Summer Dance Guest Faculty

Luc Vanier

Luc Vanier, MFA, MAMSAT is the Founding Director of the School of Dance at the University of Utah. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and certified as an Alexander technique teacher in 2001 and later became a training course Director in 2011. A Principal Dancer and company choreographer with Ohio Ballet, he danced pivotal roles in the works of company founder Heinz Poll, Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Kurt Jooss, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Laura Dean among others. His choreography has been produced at the Joyce Theater in New York City and toured nationally. Vanier has lectured and presented his research extensively nationally and internationally and his co-authored book “Dance and the Alexander Technique” was published by University of Illinois Press in 2011 (Also translated in Spanish Fall 2021 with Pequeña Hoja Press). In 2012, he founded the Integral Movement Lab, which combines the Alexander Technique and developmental ideas within product and curriculum designs. He co-created Framework for Integration, a movement analysis system anchored in the way babies and animals move that helps all movers make new, healthier movement decisions and encourages more coordinated and integrated bodily use. Luc is convinced of his responsibility to interrogate our physical practices in order to not habitually duplicate racist/sexist perspectives. He recently co-authored a chapter, The Subtle Dance of Developmental Self-Awareness with New Media Technologies, published with the Presse University du Quebec (PUQ) and Spring 2021, a new book chapter, Ballet aesthetics of trauma, development and functionality, was published in the book (Re)Claiming Ballet with Intellect Press. 

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth JohnsonBFA (George Mason University), MFA (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is a performer, choreographer, educator, Laban Movement Analyst (GL-CMA), Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique (M.AmSAT, ATI), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200), and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T—ISMETA). An embodied academic, her teaching and research include the integration of aesthetics, anatomy, kinesiology, somatic inquiry, and critical and social justice theories into dance technique and composition pedagogies. Her creative work—rooted in autobiography and her love/hate relationship with popular culture—aims to subvert cultural tropes regarding propriety, relationships, and bodies as objects/commodities. Since 2004, her company, Your Mother Dances, has featured her choreography as well as produced national and regional guest artists (US); her work has been seen in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and beyond. Johnson has also performed professionally with David Parker and The Bang Group (NYC), Sara Hook Dances (NYC), and Molly Rabinowitz Liquid Grip (NYC). 

Johnson teaches and presents nationally and internationally on dance/movement pedagogies and somatics; her approach to dance pedagogy is deeply influenced by developmental movement and prosocial/trauma informed methodologies. Recent projects include co-authoring/authoring three book chapters featuring Alexander Technique and developmental movement applications that: promote conscious embodiment in response to new media technologies (University of Quebec/PUQ), consider the psychophysical demands of arts performance (Springer International Publishing), and explore “pedagogies of healing” designed to address internalized trauma from abusive practices inherent in much historical ballet training (Intellect). She has served on Dance faculties at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Texas Tech University, and is now an Associate Professor at UF.

Tamara Begley

Tamara BegleyMFA, BFA, is an active modern dance teacher, dancer and choreographer in Louisville, Kentucky. Tamara earned an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, holds a BFA in Choreography and Performance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and she also earned K-12 teaching certificate in dance from the University of Kentucky.  Tamara is the full time dance instructor at Western Middle School for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky, where she teaches a multitude of styles of dance and explores dance integration with her colleagues and students. Tamara is also is on the faculty of the Louisville Ballet School where she teaches modern dance technique, improvisation and composition.

She has presented at the National Dance Education Organization’s National Conference in 2011, 2015 and 2017. Her choreography has been featured in performances by Moving Collective, The University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble and the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble. Tamara is a former co-producer of Moving Collective, an organization designed to keep modern dance alive in Louisville and the surrounding area, and her performance experience includes John Gamble Dance Theater in North Carolina, Amir Kolben and Jessica Marchant in Washington, D.C., and Louisville’s jan street dance theatre, Art! Art! Barking Dog Dance Company, Beth Rodriguez Dance Projects, Moving Collective and the Vandivier Ford Dance Company. 


Gretchen Hurd Gretchen Hurd (formerly Moore) - Pittsburgh, PA. Hurd received her BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University in 2002. She held company member positions with Laboratory Company Dance (LABCO), The Pillow Project, August Wilson Center Dance EnsembleDance Alloy Theater, STAYCEE PEARL Dance Project, Gia T presents, and TanzTheatre André Koslowski. Her choreography has been performed by West Virginia Dance Company, August Wilson Dance Ensemble, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and by West Virginia University in Guatemala. Hurd has taught Choreography, Hip-Hop, Improvisation, Modern, Jazz, Salsa, and Creative Dance to all ages in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. From Colleges and Universities like West Virginia University and West Virginia Wesleyan College, to master classes and intensives, Hurd has taught, created new works and helped to shape the way young and established dancers view the art form of dance. She has been an instructor at Morgantown Dance Studio, The Dance Factory, Cadalzo Contemporary Dance Studio, and was Adjunct Faculty member at West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Virginia University, West Liberty University, and Chatham University. Currently, she is an instructor at Altered Productions, Studio 412, PK’s School of Dance, and Dance Unleashed. Hurd is also a photographer specializing in dancers and pets.


Brandi Coleman

Brandi Coleman is assistant professor of jazz dance in the Division of Dance at Southern Methodist University where she teaches Jump Rhythm® Technique - a jazz-rhythm-based movement approach that transforms the moving body into a rhythmically accurate percussion instrument. She was a performing member, rehearsal director, and associate artistic director of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, a Chicago-based dance company founded by Billy Siegenfeld, that celebrates the communal core of jazz performance – dancing, singing, and storytelling in rhythmically syncopated bursts of energy.


Brandi received an Emmy Award in the category of "Outstanding Excellence On Camera/Performer” for her work in the multiple-Emmy-Award-winning documentary, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There, produced by HMS Media and aired on PBS. She has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a part of the JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concert and has toured nationally across the United States and internationally with JRJP to Finland, Italy, and Canada. As a teaching artist, she has led more than 40 choreographic and teaching residencies at universities across the country and internationally where she teaches technique classes and repertory to students in the areas of dance, musical theatre, and acting. She also served as adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, Carthage College, and as a visiting guest artist at Stephens College.


Her emotionally-expressive choreography, often set to jazz, blues, and funk music, has been presented at the Southern Theater (Minneapolis), Links Hall (Chicago), New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts (Baton Rouge), Moody Performance Hall, the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, and the Montgomery Arts Theater (Dallas), Northwestern University, Stephens College, Carthage College, University of Dubuque, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Western Virginia University, and Southern Methodist University.

Brandi’s pedagogy, writing, and choreography centers the origins of jazz dance that are specifically born of the African American experience; she upholds a deep respect and understanding for the intertwining of the historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts that are at the core of jazz dance. Her creative and scholarly research examines the performative nature of gender, gender expression and representation in jazz dance pedagogy, performance, and choreography, and the intersection of race and gender as it pertains to the commodification of the female moving body in jazz dance. Her choreography aims to disrupt the binary, societally induced constructs pertaining to gendered movement through egalitarian movement aesthetics that can be considered gender-inclusive or gender-expansive.


Her writing, “Performing Gender: Disrupting Performance Norms for Women in Jazz Dance through Gender-Inclusive, Human-Centric Choreography” is included in the book Rooted Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Lindsay Guarino, Carlos R.A. Jones, and Wendy Oliver, forthcoming from the University Press of Florida, 2022.


Brandi holds a BA in Dance, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL and an MFA in Performing Arts: Dance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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