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Artist Statement

       My work integrates scientific principles into dance practice to promote efficient movement patterns that aid in dancer longevity. From practice to pedagogy, dancers benefit from foundational knowledge of science. It informs the ways we choose to move, not only to achieve sound alignment, but also to establish unique mind-body connections. This relationship between mind and body is what grounds my work in dance and dance science, and when it is shared with others, it changes the way we see dance practice. 

       As an educator, it is essential to pass on my discoveries to my students. I use a foundation of Pilates-based somatic practice and dance anatomy to explore best practice for dancer wellness inside and outside of the classroom. We build a physiologically sound routine in the classroom to protect the body during deeper movement exploration, and this stimulates the mind to ponder what it really takes to achieve desired results in physical practice. As a team, I work with my students and establish a comfortable environment where we can intimately explore our personal movement patterns in this way. Through this exploration, we experiment and find efficiency, questioning long-established principles of dance that do not work in our bodies and instead adapting them for personalized practice.  

       Best practice also guides my research in dance science. My inquiries range from cross training effects on turnout to friction and footwear, and my research projects stem from pursuit of performance that best supports the dancing body. I investigate common elements of dance practice to discover how we can be stronger and live longer as dancers. When we dance, we need our bodies to support us, and dance science is the means to find this connection. 

Undergraduate Thesis

Mat Pilates has been cited as a physical training tool for improving dance aesthetics. It has the potential to be used effectively to improve dancer turnout, or external rotation of the legs. Turnout is significant not only because it helps dancers create visuals but also because it affects the kinetic chain, which resonates from the feet out through the top of the spine and connects directly to pelvic stability. This project implemented a nine-week mat Pilates training program on university dance minors to quantify changes in active turnout and to analyze changes in pelvic stability. Six female participants were measured weekly for their total active turnout using Functional Footprints. They also completed motion capture sessions before and after the training period where they performed several dance sequences. Spine and waist markers were analyzed specifically to observe change in standard deviations between pre-training dance and walking sequences versus post-training dance and walking sequences. It was revealed that all participants increased their total active turnout, and improvements ranged from 5-22 degrees. It was also discovered that five of six participants showed smaller standard deviation differences in dance sequences when compared to walking sequences in the post-training motion capture sessions. This means that dancers’ hip movements varied less from their typical moving posture when completing post-training dance sequences than in pre-training. As seen by improvements in pelvic stability, it can also be inferred that the kinetic chain benefits from mat Pilates training. Overall, research findings indicate that mat Pilates is an effective tool for target-training turnout in dancers and for improving pelvic stability.   


See the full paper here.

Functional Footprint

Choreographic interpretation of project results

This project has been presented at:

  • The Education and Human Ecology Research Forum

  • The Denman Forum

    • Won second place in "The Human Experience" category​

  • Lecture-Demonstrations for the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University

  • Let's Play! BFA Senior Concert at The Ohio State University

  • Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) Open House

The Physics of Dance


Logo Design: Edith Corey

Find my Physics of Dance website here.

This project combined aspects of physics with dance through exploratory activities that can be tailored to any age range. Through this project, I got the privilege of working with many organizations including:

  • The School of Nashville Ballet

  • Borderless Arts Tennessee

  • Kidsville at the Parthenon

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