Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The heart and soul of my work as both an educator and artist is in creating inclusive, communal spaces of embodied experiences, dialogue, and connection. Inherent to this is exploring and expressing the truth of our individual lived experiences; confronting and challenging the systems, ideations, and dogma that overtly and covertly colonize and oppress our minds and bodies; acknowledging, examining, and contextualizing our similarities and differences; and facilitating processes of finding authentic connection to ourselves, to each other, and to our natural world.

All my life I have questioned that which is generally accepted. I have bucked tradition, turned away from the majority, and scrutinized conventional wisdom. Even my first words were “what’s that?” followed by “why?” This relentless questioning has always been my guide – personally, professionally, creatively. It has been and continues to be my primary means of stripping away and interrogating my own framework of understanding and conceptualization, of confronting and disengaging from the relationships and systems by which I personally feel confined and/or oppressed, and of challenging and contributing to progressive change within the institutions which I am connected.

By all of this, I mean to say that as a cisgender, able-minded, able-bodied, middle class, white woman who was raised in the homogenous, heteronormative rural-urban fringe, I deeply feel it is both my obligation and responsibility, as not just an educator or an artist, but as a human being, to actively uncover and address the layers of my own inherent biases, specifically in regard to Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as the LGBTQIA+ community, and those who are differently-abled and disabled. It is imperative that I consciously and consistently open myself and the spaces I occupy to listening, learning, and raising up the voices and experiences of those less privileged than myself. As an educator, I do this by rethinking and restructuring recruitment, curriculum, methods of evaluation, access, and classroom dynamic. As a facilitator and artist, I also do this by decentralizing Western dance forms, movement practices, and corresponding value systems, re-examining spatial arrangements and word choice in dialogue, and opening myself to listening and taking up less space when working in collaboration. As an individual, I do this by actively engaging with culture, community, people, work, training, text, art, and entertainment that seeks to uphold and promote anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and anti-exclusionary practices and perspectives.

The foundation of not only my work, but my worldview, is authenticity, community, and connection, and without the commitment to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world these things cannot exist.