I was born into a dancing, musical family. My parents taught international folk dance together and ran a non-profit in the dining room, while my mother also taught creative movement for children. Our community was intergenerational and inclusive. At folk dance camps, I learned that dance was an intrinsic part of society. I learned about the way that the dance and music of a country served as a tie that brought people from different villages to a common place, even when refugee situations threatened to break a culture apart. I came to know dance as the glue that can help a community stay healthy and together.
From my international folk dance roots, I moved to creative dance and then gymnastics. I landed at UMass Amherst to receive my BFA in dance. My college career was interrupted due to a severe back injury, which took me out of dance for a year and a half. During that time, I moved to Hawaii. There, I was immersed in language and dance and culture. I learned how the resurgence of a people's dance can bring great strength to a people and give them amazing strength to move forward. Returning to UMass I taught Scottish Country Dance in town and Folk Dance for the PE majors.
After graduation I moved to the Boston area to dance right away. Peggy Brightman took me in immediately and soon after Danny Sloane invited me to join his company. I spent 2 years with each and then landed a contract with Concert Dance Company. I had the opportunity to dance for Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Bill Evans and Kei Takei. Meanwhile, I was teaching at Joy of Movement, Harvard's Mainly Jazz Dance Co. and Jeanette Neill Dance Studio. I then relocated to Evanston, Illinois, where I taught at Northwestern University and danced with the Evanston Folk Dancers. My stay there was brief, however, as I was destined to return to Massachusetts.
Back in Boston, I began teaching at the Dance Complex (formerly Joy of Movement), Jeanette Neill, and with master classes at UMass, Boston University, Emerson and smaller studios around New England. I taught for 15 years at Boston Conservatory. I was fortunate to be invited to dance for and with Dance Collective, Miguel Lopez, Local artists such as Rozann Kraus, Micki Taylor-Pinney, Ann Brown Allan and Erica Drew Schwartz. I was honored to dance for Diane Arvernites-Noya and Tommy Neblett in Prometheus Dance for 20 seasons. I hope to join the Prometheus Elders Co. soon (you have to be 60 to join).
Thought all this I continued to teach International Folk Dance and get to dances whenever I got the chance. I love teaching outside by the fountain in the summer in Copley Sq. I continue to teach residencies through Young Audiences and Mass Movement, Revels Inc and whenever schools call for dance tied to curriculum or if they are looking for a family night activity.
Dance is intergenerational. Whether I am teaching Modern 55+ for my elders, K-12 in residency, Scottish Country Dance through the RSCDS Boston Branch, Salsa to Sardanes at Tufts or my Mladost Dancers I try to make sure they know this is dance for everyone.
For me, to dance is to breathe. To teach and lead dancing is a joy.