Photo credit: Becca Vision NYC


Register Today for the 2024 NYSDEA Winter Conference: Perspectives

February 3, 2024

Hunter College, Dance Department

5th & 6th Floors Thomas Hunter Hall
695 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10065

Please join us for….

Dance, like all art forms, is subjective. Our lived experiences, backgrounds, and personal beliefs all converge to create our perspectives. As educators, it is crucial to acknowledge our perspectives, unpack our biases, and make a conscious effort to teach and share dance from multiple perspectives in order to give students, audiences, and communities a full understanding of what dance is and can look like. Dance provides a platform for people to express, explore, and share their identities, stories, cultures, etc., so how do dance educators make sure all perspectives are seen and celebrated?

Saturday February 3, 2024
8:30 – 9:00 - Registration - Middle Studio 6th Floor

9:00 – 9:30 – Warm-up Class - North Studio 6th Floor

9:45 – 10:45 – Session 1
Daria Fitzgerald, Sandi Stratton-Gonzalez, Carina Rubaja DEL Dance and Literacy: Poetry Moves Me (Movement Workshop) South Studio/ Theatre 6th Floor
Martha Eddy and Ana Bella Caring for Older Adults with Moving For Life (Interactive Lecture Demonstration) North Studio 6th Floor
Brian Lawson Me, You, and The Music: Supporting Students' Perspectives in Ballet Class (Presentation) Jody Studio 5th Floor

11:00 – 12:00 – Session 2
Melissa van Wijk Born Dancing (Presentation) South Studio/ Theatre 6th Floor
Nadia Dieudonné Haitian History Through Dance (Movement Workshop) Jody Studio 5th Floor

12:00 – 1:30 – Lunch – Vendors

1:45 – 2:45 – Session 3
Dante Puleio Finding the You in Movement (Movement Workshop) South Studio / Theatre 6th Floor
Enya-Kalia Jordan Black "fly gurl" (i)iteration of "Ebonic Bodies in Motion: Discerning the Metaphysical Emergence of African American Vernacular Embodiment (Presentation) Jody Studio 5th Floor

3:00 – 4:00 – Session 4
Michael Montoya Gender Roles in Dance and Their Effect on LGBTQIA+ Dancers (Presentation) North Studio 6th Floor
Marisa f. Ballaro Beautiful Noise: Individual & Community Identity (Movement Workshop) Jody Studio 5th Floor

4:15 – 5:15 – Session 5
Rachel DeForrest Repinz Disability Aesthetics as a Pedagogical Principle in Teaching Contemporary Dance (Movement Workshop) North Studio 6th Floor
Lakota Leijon Dance as a Social-Emotional Learning Intervention: Fostering Inclusion and Growth (Presentation) Jody Studio 5th Floor

5:30 - 6:30 - Student Performance - South Studio/ Theatre 6th Floor

6:30 - Reception - North Studio 6th Floor

Presenters Biographies
Click on presenter name for full description.

Gender Roles in Dance and Their Effects on LGBTQIA+ Dancers
Presented by: Michael Montoya
Michael Montoya is a professional jazz dancer, choreographer, and dance educator currently residing in the Hudson Valley, New York area. For many years prior to moving to New York, Michael was a member of the professional dance community of Los Angeles and Orange County, California where he worked as a principal dancer, soloist, and theatrical commercial jazz choreographer. In 2021 Michael was awarded a New York State Teaching Artist grant by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable to create a series of video lessons for educators designed to address the needs of LGBTQ+ students who are often negatively affected by the rigid binary gender practices of many forms of dance. As an extension of this project, Michael has created a full-length documentary entitled “Out From the Wings” and a professional development seminar where, through video interviews, he shares the stories of lesbian, gay, non-binary, and transgender dancers as they candidly discuss how rigid gender and sexual identity expectations have negatively affected them. Michael and the dancers also share their suggestions for changes to dance practice that would provide increased support for LGBTQ+ dancers.

Using PowerPoint and video interview footage, the presentation entitled “Gender Roles in Dance and Their Effects on LGBTQIA+ Dancers'' is an analysis of the rigid binary gender role expectations often encountered in many forms of dance. Using academic research and personally conducted interviews with dancers from the LGBTQIA+ community, I will share information on the long-term negative effects these practices have on dancers as well as suggestions for changes to dance teaching practices that would better support LGBTQIA+ dance students and performers.

Disability Aesthetics as a Pedagogical Principle in Teaching Contemporary Dance
Presented by: Rachel DeForrest Repinz
Rachel DeForrest Repinz is a visually disabled dancer, choreographer, scholar, and multiple award recipient based in NYC. She received a BA and MFA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo State University and Temple University, respectively. Rachel is a second-year doctoral student in Dance at Texas Woman’s University with a focus on the Disability Aesthetic and its applications in choreographic practices in contemporary dance. Rachel founded and directs RACHEL:dancers, a multi-medium, multi-modal, dance performance company, and co-directs a collaborative performance art project, Bashi Arts, with Enya-Kalia Jordan. She has presented her work nationally and internationally, at venues including the Kraine Theater, Movement Research, UWI Barbados, the NDEO National Conference (2018, 2019, 2022), DaCi’s 2020 special performance series and 2023 National Gathering, the Institute of Dance Artistry, Mark Degarmo’s NYC Salon Series, Philadelphia Youth Dance Festival, and more. She has had the honor of working with choreographers including Sidra Bell, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Wayne St. David, Dr. S. Ama Wray, Meriàn Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, and Carlos R.A. Jones, among others. For more information on her creative work, find her at

This experiential workshop offers disability and crip aesthetics as guiding principles in teaching contemporary dance to students of all ages. This workshop illuminates the roles that disability has played in the evolution of modern aesthetics, positioning it within the context of contemporary dance performance and dance pedagogy. Engaging in a hands-on approach, participants will understand disability as an aesthetic value and its implications in contemporary dance making, the evolution of contemporary dance techniques, and dance literacy. Moving away from an inclusion model of teaching dance, this workshop reimagines a pedagogical approach to teaching contemporary dance which centers crip aesthetics. This workshop will be offered as a multi-modal presentation including a lecture-demonstration and experiential movement workshop.

Finding the You in Movement
Presented by: Dante Puleio
A widely respected former member of the Limón Dance Company for more than a decade, Puleio is the sixth Artistic Director in the Company’s 77-year history, a position that originated with Doris Humphrey. After a diverse performing career with the Limón Dance Company, touring national and international musical theatre productions, television and film, he received his MFA from University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on contextualizing mid 20th century dance for the contemporary artist and audience. He is committed to implementing that research by celebrating José Limón's historical legacy and reimagining his intention and vision to reflect the rapidly shifting 21st century landscape.

Contemporary movement practices often rely on the performing artist to be able to share their perspective inside a framework provided by the person in front of the space, whether that is an educator or choreographer, but how can one tap into that side of themselves safely or even really know who they are in a studio after spending a lifetime of training that consisted of being told what to do? This workshop peels back the layers of training to reveal the self and gain access to those parts needed to offer personal perspective inside someone else's movement vocabulary or set of curated tasks. Through the process of deconstructing western based / Eurocentric dance training, participants have the opportunity to decode how intention and weight can be some of the keys needed to overcome the obstacles we face when being told, "I need to see YOU inside the movement". This workshop with Artistic Director of the Limón Dance Company, Dante Puleio, will guide you through approaches designed to stretch your potential and find growth to support the demanding rigor of today's expectations in dance, and oh yeah, it'll be fun too!

A Black "fly gurl" (i)iteration of "Ebonic Bodies in Motion: Discerning the Metaphysical Emergence of African American Vernacular Embodiment"
Presented by: Enya-Kalia Jordan
Enya-Kalia Jordan, PhD ABD, is a choreographer, researcher, scholar, and teaching artist from Brooklyn, New York. She received a BA in Arts & Letters Dance from Buffalo State University and MFA from Temple University in choreography and performance. In 2023. she was named an “Artistic Visionary,” honored as Temple University's 30 under 30 distinguished Alumna. In 2023, she successfully completed qualifying examinations and was awarded doctoral candidacy at Texas Woman’s University for her research on cultural embodiment and black feminist choreographic perspectives. She also received the 2022-2023 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Spouses Education Scholarship for high academic and leadership potential for her Ph.D. work and community activism. Enya-Kalia artistic directs of Enya Kalia Creations (EKC), a movement-artist collective and co-directs the performance project Bashi Arts. EKC is in the midst of an arts & social justice residency with the CUNY Dance Initiative, partnered with Brooklyn College School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts and BAX: Brooklyn Arts Exchange from 2023-2025.Over the course of two years during this residency, she will be developing her practice-based dissertation research.

This research entitled ‘Ebonic Bodies in Motion: Discerning the Metaphysical Emergence of African American Vernacular Embodiment’ centers Black women in Brooklyn, their knowledge systems, and African American Vernacular English (AAVE). This project celebrates and cultivates dance performance, prioritizing Black women’s embodiment as expressed across the body, movement, sound, and aesthetics. It imagines AAVE as soul communication expressed as both spoken and movement languages voiced from the Black "fly gurl's" prerogative. This multi-module and layered project is apart of Enya-Kalia Jordan's practice-based dissertation research, which utilizes a decolonial activist methodology, asking the audience to consider which bodies are traditionally considered changemakers and culture creators. With antiracism and pedagogy as the focus, the Ebonic Body as a working methodology can have serval implications for improvisation, choreography, curriculum, and goals of dance departments across the United States. Framed as a community dance class, this movement lecture will focus on the evolving research on the Ebonic body and how it can be enacted in the NYC classroom, through fostering self-assurance, creative problem-solving, cultural metaphor, and community engagement. It gives educators another tool to have students invest in the dancing classroom and meet students where they are at, while dance class will broadly survey movement styles from throughout the African Diaspora. Using beats, voice, and self-affirmations together, we will get in the groove, and sweat!

Dance as a Social-Emotional Learning Intervention: Fostering Inclusion and Growth
Presented by Lakota Leijon
“Move with intention, live in authenticity,” This is how Lakota Summer Leijon lives her life. Currently living in Brooklyn with her son Ricky and daughter Lulu (Tai) she is the Dean of Student Support Services at Coney Island Prep Charter School and has a private mental health coaching and mindfulness movement practice that is in its 4th year of operation. A dancer for well over 40 years, Lakota is a proud member of the National Dance Educator’s Organization, and National Honor Society for Dance Arts. She has leveraged both her love and expertise in mental health and education as a Ph.D. candidate in North Central University’s Social Emotional Learning program. Her other life passions include creator and founder of Lakota Moon Naturals, an all-natural body care company and writer, executive producer and development specialist for Iron Metropolis films, an independent film company based in New York City.

Our presentation aims to explore the transformative power of dance as an alternative to exclusionary discipline, emphasizing its capacity to foster inclusion and emotional growth within educational settings. By attending "Dance as a Social-Emotional Learning Intervention: Fostering Inclusion and Growth," participants will gain valuable insights into a progressive, student-centered approach that has the potential to transform the educational landscape for the better. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey towards creating a more inclusive and emotionally nurturing learning environment for all students.

Me, You, and The Music: Supporting Students' Perspectives in Ballet Class
Presented by Brian Lawson
Brian Lawson is a dance educator and performer from Toronto, Canada. He earned his BFA in dance performance at SUNY Purchase and went on to join the Mark Morris Dance Group. Through MMDG Brian taught masterclasses and workshops at various institutions including NYU Tisch, American Dance Festival, and Barnard College. He earned his MFA in dance from University of Washington in 2020 and then joined the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. He returned to New York City in 2021 and resumed teaching to professionals and beginners alike. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College and a member of Pam Tanowitz Dance. He collaborates in dancemaking and research with Adele Nickel and continues to teach in New York City.

Description: What does a ballet class that is led by the student’s perspective look like? I teach advanced ballet at a small liberal arts college and hear from my students that previous ballet environments have been damaging to their bodies and psyches. I now create classes that encourage health and holistic growth by using George Engel’s biospsychosocial model of health as an assessment framework. This model proposes that psychological and social factors must be considered as a person’s physical health is assessed. So, in my ballet classes students are assessed on how well they take care of their bodies, minds, and the learning community. I believe this holism provides the resources they require to develop as unique learners. Individual growth, however, is best supported in a classroom that allows for the students’ perspectives to lead. I still see a great need for self-directed learning in ballet classes, which often center the teacher’s expertise. My belief in the cognitive constructivist model of learning, and particularly the work of Eleanor Duckworth, has convinced me of the importance of the knowledge students make for themselves. I encourage this process in ballet class and have thus created a model which I believe is having a healthful effect on the students in my ballet classes. This model centers themes of support. I give students the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and musical support they require, and provide a framework that allows them to set their own goals and self-motivate. Since beginning this work, student reflections have consistently centered around ideas of growth and healing in ballet. I hope to share this work at NYSDEA. I plan to explain my assessment model, dive into the three ways I provide support for students, and share anecdotal evidence from students on the qualitative shifts they’ve experienced as they study ballet.

Born Dancing - Lecture Demonstration of Quartet
Presented by Melissa van Wijk
Melissa van Wijk

Greta Baier & Lisa Clementi
Avery Roberts & Nicole Sclafani

© Yiruma, River Flows in You, 2001; Loanna, 2008; Flowers We Are, 2002.

Visual Art (not shown during the NYSDEA presentation):
© Schilder/Artist Ton Schulten, Velden in bloei, 2009; Maanlandschap, 1995; Bospad, 2011; Winter, 2006; Over de heuvels, 2008.

Melissa van Wijk (she/her) hails from The Netherlands and is the Founder and Director of Born Dancing and Wearer Of Many Hats. She holds five NYS Teaching Certifications including Dance K-12th grade and Students With Disabilities 7th-12th grade. She is pursuing her Doctorate in Dance Education at Columbia University and holds a master’s degree in Dance Education from NYU. Melissa works in Early Childhood as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and Early Intervention Specialist.

Born Dancing is founded on the belief that people of all ages and abilities should have access to every aspect of dance. We produce original, inclusive dance performances that feature performers with and without disabilities and we create dance education programs for under-served Students With Disabilities and High-Needs in New York City. Our performances and dance education programs provide Students With Disabilities and High-Needs with real-world dance performance and production experiences, apprenticeships to learn job and social skills, and internships in performing arts production and related fields. Our overarching goal is to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities in performing arts production.

Quartet is series of duets inspired, in part, by the colorful abstracted landscapes by Dutch visual artist Ton Schulten. Quartet premiered in Dec. 2021 and is normally performed in front of large projections of the landscapes, creating the sense that the dancers are living in these landscapes. This intergenerational work features artists with and without disabilities. For this NYSDEA presentation we will break up the duets into two sections, with a Q & A and dialogue in-between and after each showing to facilitate an in-depth discussion on what it means to be a dancer, who we assume belongs in dance, and how we may facilitate true collaboration and inclusion across a range of abilities.

DEL Dance and Literacy: Poetry Moves Me
Presented by Daria Fitzgerald, Sandi Stratton-Gonzalez, and Carina Rubaja
Daria Fitzgerald (M.A., Dance Education, NYU, Professional Dance Teacher Certification, NYS) is the Associate Director of Early Childhood Dance at 92NY and a DEL facilitator. She was recently recognized as a DEL Lab school recipient for her work in the 92NY Nursery School. Daria is the assistant director of Kids Do Dance at The Yard and was the lead curriculum designer for The Yard’s Making It program. She has guest lectured at NYU and is an associate director of the Arnhold NYU Steinhardt/Global Visiting Scholars Summer Workshop. Daria worked for the NYCDOE in a variety of roles including full-time dance teacher, teaching artist, and curriculum writer. She served as NDEO’s Graduate Student Representative, a member of the development committee, and as chair of NYU’s student chapter. At NYU, Daria founded the Steinhardt Dance Education Association and received the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions award. She was twice awarded the NYSDEA graduate student scholarship. Daria has presented professional development workshops through NDEO, Dancing Classrooms and The Lawrence Arts Center. Daria has visited Uganda three times to study dance, music, games, and storytelling. She shares her favorite children’s books for dance class on @booksfordancing on Instagram.

Sandi Stratton-Gonzalez, MA, is the Manager of the Arnhold Support Programs for Dance Educators, teaches Dance for Children with Disabilities for the National Dance Education Organization and works as a freelance curriculum writer and professional learning facilitator. For over 20 years, Sandi taught at The Children’s School (PS 372) in Brooklyn, the nation’s first fully inclusive public school. There, she developed a sequential PK -5 curriculum, chaired the Arts Committee and administered the school’s enrichment programs. Sandi is co-author (with C. Gallant and D. Duggan) of Dance Education for Diverse Learners: A Special Education Supplement to the Dance Blueprint and has been published in Dance: Current Selected Research Volume 7 and Dance Education in Practice. Sandi taught dance education majors at Hofstra University for over a decade, and was the founding Director of Soundance Repertory Company (1984-1999), a community-based dance group.

Since 1998, Carina Rubaja has worked as a dance teaching artist for many renowned cultural organizations (including the Guggenheim Museum, the 92Y , Young Audiences/NY, Abrons Center, Dancewave, New Jersey Performing Arts Center ) in New Jersey and NYC with general and special education two to ten-year-old students, their teachers, and their families. She teaches for the NJPAC Early Learning through the Arts program and for NJPAC’s Innovation Hub project for elementary school educators. These initiatives mentor teachers to integrate performing arts processes in their teaching. Last spring she made a series of videos for PreK classrooms at PS209. The same school has commissioned her a new series for this fall. She has led creative dance classes in arts integration, after-school and summer camp programs. She has conducted family workshops and professional development workshops in the U.S. and Argentina. Carina has participated in research projects and in arts in education panels as well as grant and dance curricula writing. This is her sixth year on the Create team, a NYCDOE project that trains 3K and PreK educators in four art disciplines. This year she is mentoring dance teaching artists both for the NJPAC and for the 92Y. She received her dance teacher training degree in Argentina in 1988, and her Masters in Education from Lesley College in 1992. She completed the 2-year course at DEL 92Y and continuously participates in arts education professional learning workshops, fostering her love of teaching and learning.

Literacy deficits as a result of the pandemic have had a devastating impact on NYC students. Current dance education city and NYS learning standards are anchored in principles of dance literacy and provide students with embodied learning opportunities to expand vocabulary usage, improve language and communication skills, and strengthen reading and writing skills. The 92NY DEL curricular model emphasizes integrated arts learning and dance literacy through the application of the Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) framework as an expansive movement vocabulary enrichment tool. In addition, DEL’s student-centered curricular model includes movement exploration and dance-making opportunities that reinforce literacy principles in an integrative and collaborative manner. Funded by the New York Community Trust, DEL’s new Dance Literacy Curriculum meets the varied access needs of all students, including multilingual learners and D 75 students, PreK through 5th grade. This project uses three social-emotional-focused children’s books to incorporate a variety of perspectives through explicit literacy strategies. In this workshop, participants will experience a lesson from the DEL literacy curriculum, and learn how to apply intentional literacy and multilingual learning strategies to their dance teaching. Participants will also critically examine how they are currently incorporating literacy into their pedagogy.

Beautiful Noise: Individual & Community Identity
Presented by Marisa f. Ballaro
Marisa f. Ballaro is a curious learner and avid community builder. She received her MFA in Dance from Montclair State University (June 2022) and was selected as Convocation Speaker for the College of the Arts. With dual degrees in Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts for Children, she is a summa cum laude graduate of SUNY Brockport, receiving prestigious honors: the Marion Schrank Student Leadership Award and Outstanding Scholar in the School of Arts & Performance. Marisa is on faculty at The Brearley School (Manhattan) and taught on faculty at the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Modern Dance for over a decade. Passionate about service, Marisa is Vice President for the Board of Directors of SUNY Brockport, Alumni Association and Endurance Chair for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s: Tomorrow's Leaders. She was recognized as an Outstanding Educator by The University of Chicago (October 2019) and received two honors at Brearley: The Margaret Riker Harding Lower School Fellowship and The Serena Marshall Weld Award. Marisa was invited to Barcelona, Spain (April 2022) to certify in Level 1 Simonson Technique. She was recently awarded a $9,575 Impact Grant by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to lead a national-wide creative project (2024.)

This hybrid presentation/movement workshop explores the successes of "Beautiful Noise," a composition study that investigates identity using two masterworks from the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive collection as inspiration: Trisha Brown’s "If You Couldn’t See Me" and "HairStories" by Urban Bush Women. The session begins with a description of the "Beautiful Noise" project and an introduction to the masterworks; participants will explore several project activities and reflect on their experience in the creative process. This project aims to highlight the uniqueness of each participant through self-investigation then builds connection through community sharing. "Beautiful Noise" invites participants to reflect, brainstorm, respond, create, design, and share. Paralleling themes found in the masterworks, the creative process enables students to analyze and interpret their own experiences, designing and communicating through their sense of self. By centering the voices of a unique community, each person can feel valued, appreciated, and acknowledged. Students involved in the project are encouraged to self-reflect and identify parts of them that may be visible or hidden. "Beautiful Noise" becomes a living artifact or history of the community members involved; in our case, they facilitate a unique community dance project. Workshop attendees will participate in several "Beautiful Noise" project activities. They will design a unique Identity Definition, a Movement Identity Phrase, and develop a collaborative Community Phrase while guided through creative writing, movement improvisations, and a shared movement-making experience. The session will culminate in a mini performative exploration, reflection, and discussion. Attendees will be able to replicate the improvisational activities in their own classrooms, introduce themes of identity using the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive resources, and adopt a framework for exploring these materials with student-centered learning.

Haitian History Through Dance
Presented by: Nadia Dieudonné
Nadia Dieudonné is a talented choreographer, dancer and teacher who began dancing at an early age. By the age of 12 Nadia was performing with well known Haitian folk singer and community activist Mrs. Myriam Dorisme. Nadia's innate talent as an Afro-Haitian dancer grew stronger in 1990, as she began to travel back to her homeland to research and study the origins, purposes of Haitian dance and its connections to Africa. . Her expertise comes out of her diligent study of the folkloric heritage of Haitian dance. She honed her skills by attending several Lakous (communities that preserve and practice specific Vodou ceremonies) in the countryside and in dance schools in Port-au-Prince and New York. For more than 12 years Nadia has been fortunate to have been mentored by Haitian icon Jean-Leon Destine and worked alongside him as an assistant teacher. Presently she is Nadia Dieudonné is a certified teacher for the Department of Education and has a MA in Dance Education from New York University.

This 60min dance presentation will allow participants to explore one of the crucial events in Haitian history, Bois Caiman ceremony through movement. Accompanied with live drumming, participants will examine the significance of the Nago, Ibo and Petro rhythms & dances to understand how they were used to abolish slavery in Haiti.

Caring for Older Adults with Moving For Life
Presented by Martha Eddy and Ana Bella
Martha Eddy, international teacher/lecturer, activist, and Registered Somatic Movement Therapist with a doctorate in Movement Science, founded BodyMind Dancing in the 1980s, Dynamic Embodiment Somatic Movement Training combining Body-Mind Centering® and Laban Movement Analysis in 1990, Moving On Center with Carol Swann in 1994, and Moving For Life a type of Somatic Dance Fitness for symptom management in 1999. Her book Mindful Movement the Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action (2016) addresses the history and applications of somatic education including interviews with many great dancers who started somatic systems or promoted it - Martha Myers, Anna Halprin, Elaine Summer and more. Her latest book with Shakti Smith is Dynamic Embodiment of the Sun Salutation - Pathways to Balancing the Chakras and NeuroEndocrine System. She has been a licensed Teacher of Body-Mind Centering since 1984 and was a faculty member of both the School for Body-Mind Centering and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for a decade. She loves to dance, perform and drum and has been featured in the NY Times three times lately. Moving For Life has been featured on Public Radio, all major news networks and on NY1 several times.

Ana Leon Bella has worked in movement for over 20 years as a dancer, fitness expert, CMA and dance educator and the Director of Programming for the non-profit health and dance organization Moving For Life. She is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist/Educator (RSMT/E) with ISMETA, a Laban Certified Movement Analyst (CMA), and a Dance Educator. Ana teaches Dance History and Dance Criticism at Wagner College, and Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Ana holds a Master's degree in Dance Education from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University. She is also a Dance Artist for the Phyllis Rose Dance Company. She became a Certified MFL Instructor in July 2015, and currently teaches all over the city and in the MFL Teacher Training Program. Ana speaks Spanish, Italian, and is knowledgeable in Mandarin Chinese.

Learn about and experience Moving For Life DanceExercise for Health - Moving For Life (MFL) is a leader in exercise and wellness education for the maintenance of a healthy body and mind in the cancer community and now becoming known in the Elder Fitness arena. Our classes use carefully designed, easy-to-follow and familiar movements to music to boost mental and physical health, using a somatic approach. Moving For Life Certified Instructors (MFLCIs) address needs such as, energy levels, responses to falling, stiffness, self-image, flexibility, and weight management. Moving For Life’s research with NYU and Columbia University, and pre and post class surveys show the following benefits: improved range of motion, increased energy, improved quality of life, and loss of 8 - 10 pounds with 12 weeks of engagement meeting twice a week. Our dancing process is further correlated with evidence that shows participation in gentle exercise can lower your risk of high blood pressure, respiratory issues and diabetes. MFL has been the central intervention of various research studies (NYU Langone, NIH and Columbia University) and these studies confirm that engagement in the MFL approach to therapeutic dance speeds up recovery time after illness or surgeries. ringing the somatic approach also reduces risk of injury in classes. Participate in a short class and ask your questions about adapting classes for different issues - health, age, culture and setting (online, indoors and outdoors). Moving For Life is free throughout NYC and has been taught in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, French and Japanese.

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