Dancing Tao

cover image of terpsichore in sneakers

Terpsichore in Sneakers by Sally Banes from Amazon.com


I began seriously studying dance as an undergraduate at UNC-Greensboro in 1977.  It was a great experience and there was much interest in newer forms of dance.  Ron Paul, who died in 1995 of HIV related illnesses, was my first modern dance instructor.  I was greatly inspired by his teaching and became a dance major the next year.

Anne Deloria kept up with developments and introduced us to innovative approaches to dance improvisation including contact improvisation.  Improvisation was where I could explore multiple levels of my dancing self and follow energetic flows wherever they might take me.

At that time I also read a lot about experimental art and performance.  An especially important book was Terpsichore in Sneakers by Sally Banes.  This book introduced many of my contemporaries to postmodern dance including such figures as Steve Paxton, the creator of contact improvisation, and Simone Forti, Deborah Hay and Trisha Brown.

This influential movement continues to affect contemporary work, in part through such institutions and networks as Movement Research, that organizes movement workshops in New York.  Another valuable resource is Contact Quarterly, a networking publication and journal for contact improvisations and related developments produced by Contact Collaborations.

In addition to my education at UNC-G, I also attended the dance program at SUNY-Purchase.  My experiences there led me more deeply into the introspective practices of somatics and mediation.

Next - Somatics


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