Meet the 2019 ODEO Conference Presenters!

Keynote Presenter: Anne Green Gilbert

"Building Bridges Through Creative Dance"

Anne Green Gilbert will guide participants through a 5-part brain-compatible dance class focusing on building community through the concept of Relationships. The class will include a BrainDance variation, exploration, skill development, choreography and reflection. Connecting through movement we are engaged, empowered, and transformed.


Anne Green Gilbert founded the Creative Dance Center and Kaleidoscope Dance Company in Seattle, Washington in 1981 and the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers in 1994.  Anne has had a varied teaching career starting as an elementary school teacher, moving on to dance and pedagogy classes at University of Illinois Chicago and University of Washington, then teaching children’s dance classes at Cornish College and Bill Evans/Dance Theatre Seattle before starting the Creative Dance Center. She has been an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University for many years and taught for Lesley University’s Outreach Masters Program for ten years. For the past thirty-five years, Anne has taught toddlers through adults at Creative Dance Center, trained teachers through her Summer Dance Institute, and conducted hundreds of workshops and residencies across the United States and abroad. Anne developed the BrainDance, a focusing warm-up exercise, in 2000. The BrainDance is used in many schools, studios, and homes around the world. Anne is internationally recognized for her work with young artists and the creative process. She has choreographed dances for university dance companies as well as local Northwest dance companies and Kaleidoscope.

Anne is the author of Teaching the Three Rs Through Movement (1977), Creative Dance for All Ages (1st edition 1992, 2nd edition 2015), Brain-Compatible Dance Education (1st edition 2006, 2nd edition 2019), Teaching Creative Dance DVD (2002) and BrainDance DVD (2003/2016), as well as numerous articles. Anne has also collaborated with composer Eric Chappelle on the CDs, BrainDance Music and Music for Creative Dance Volumes I-V. Anne is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization, and Dance and the Child International (daCi). Anne served on the daCi board for twelve years. Anne is founder and Past President of the Dance Educators Association of Washington, an organization promoting quality dance education in all Washington State schools K-12. As a member of the Arts Education Standards project, she helped write the Washington State Dance Standards and Learning Goals. Anne is the recipient of several awards including the NDA Scholar/Artist award in 2005, the National Dance Education Organization Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and the Lawrence Tenney Stevens American Dance Award for her work with boys and men in dance in 2014.

Anne is the mother of three amazing Kaleidoscope alums and grandmother of seven dancing grandchildren. She lives in Seattle with her talented husband, David.

Workshop Descriptions and Bios

Embodied Identity: a movement exploration on the sense of self

Terra Lyn Anderson, Dance/Movement Therapist

Workshop Description: For many, identity has often been an illusive concept for the mind to comprehend. To answer the question, “Who am I?” in words is a very difficult task that is often piecemealed together by the roles we fill, the things we love, and our physical characteristics rather than by expressing the true essence of our beings. We struggle to articulate identity because at its very core, the essence of who we are is felt in our bodies not thought by our minds. This experiential movement workshop is an opportunity to explore identity through the language of the body: sensation, movement and breath. This 55-minute workshop will hone in on one of many aspects of identity: the archetypal energies of the feminine, the masculine and the androgynous. Guided in this movement exploration by dance/movement therapist, Terra Anderson R-DMT, LPC-I, participants will examine the presence or absence of these qualities, how we each uniquely define these concepts for ourselves, and how these archetypes inform who we are and how we orient to our world. Elements of Dance Theory, including Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Bartenieff Fundamentals will support the inquiry into how we embody identity, offering a structure for continuous self-exploration beyond the reaches of this workshop. Bodies of all genders, races, sexual orientations, sizes and abilities are invited to attend, as intersectionality will be a foundational element supporting this embodied inquiry.

Terra Lyn Anderson MA, R-DMT, LPC-I is a dance/movement therapist in Portland, OR and the owner of Embody Emerge LLC, an organization dedicated to the advancement of social justice through embodied healing arts. Dually informed by a classical dance education and a long-standing mindfulness practice, Terra dedicated her life’s work to being a conduit for the healing connection between body and mind. Terra focused on dance and psychology in her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego. She then went on to complete her master’s degree in Somatic Counseling Psychology: Dance/Movement Therapy at Naropa University, in Boulder, CO. During her graduate education she envisioned the healing potential of embodiment if applied beyond the therapy room to our greater society. Inspired by this vision, Terra directed her focus to studying the physical impact and healing of oppression trauma. She pursued supplemental trainings in social power differentials, racial justice, intersectionality, embodied sexuality, gender diversity, and organizational transformation. Terra believes that social justice is inherently tied to the body, as is oppression and trauma. Her unique approach to therapy, organizational change consulting, and activism is characterized by a commitment to empowering the relationship between body and mind.

What Are We Really Teaching?

Sherrie Barr, MFA, CMA, Independent Teaching Dance Artist-Scholar; Associate Editor, Journal of Dance Education; Courtesy Professor of Dance, Department of Dance, University of Oregon and Sarah Ebert, MFA, SME; Instructor, Department of Dance, University of Oregon; Faculty, Eugene Ballet Academy

Workshop Description:Regardless of genre, style, or population, movement undergirds our technique classes. Indeed, a key responsibility for technique teachers is to generate movement for students to learn. Yet we also suggest that our pedagogical responsibility should go beyond a movement’s outward appearance. To uncover all that is embedded within, we can better facilitate students in their learning. This requires a pedagogical shift that honors diversity in experiencing movement; a somatic-oriented pedagogy establishes such a landscape. In this workshop, we will unpack a movement phrase through the somatic lenses of connectivity and sequencing guided by exploration and reflection to attain a fuller understanding of the how and what of the movement. As time permits, participants will “try-on” a focus to share with each other.  Through mindful reflection and questioning of habits, we can begin to deepen our teaching practices as we embrace all that exists within the movement we are teaching

Sherrie Barr (MFA, CMA), returning to live in Oregon 3 years ago, is now an independent teaching dance artist. She taught dance in higher education for over 40 years, including Potsdam State College of NY, University of Oregon, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Oregon State University. Her choreography has been seen throughout the US as well as in Portugal while teaching in Lisbon as a Fulbright Lecturer. Barr’s passion for teaching fuels her examination of pedagogical practices through an intersection of critical feminist pedagogies and somatics. She continues to share her research at conferences as well as in publications such as Arts Education Policy Review, Journal of Dance Education, and Research in Dance Education. Associate Editor of Journal of Dance Education, Barr is especially excited about McFarland’s forthcoming publication of Case Studies in Dance Education: Ethical Dimensions of Humanizing Dance Pedagogy, a text in which she is Community Dance section co-editor and author.


Sarah Ebert  is an Instructor in the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon, adjunct faculty at Lane Community College, and director of the contemporary dance curriculum at the Eugene Ballet Academy. She is also the Artistic Director of a branch of the Eugene Ballet Youth, which focuses on a contemporary aesthetic. As a performer, she has worked with numerous independent choreographers including Alito Alessi of DanceAbility International, Asimina Chremos, Brad Garner, Linda K. Johnson, Gabriel Masson, Shannon Mockli, Mary Oslund, and Minh Tran, among others. As a choreographer, she has been commissioned by the Eugene Ballet Company, the Eugene Ballet Youth, Columbia Dance and the University of Idaho. Ebert is also a Body-Mind Centering® Somatic Movement Educator and Embodied Anatomy and Yoga Teacher. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon.

Integrating Dance Medicine with Choreography

Laura Haney, Master Instructor and Amy Werner, Dance Physical Therapist
Workshop Description: Join dance physical therapist Amy Werner for detailed instruction on injury prevention specific to dancers, followed by a class in The Ellové Technique® taught by master instructor Laura Haney, where these scientific principles and concepts will be choreographed to music. The Ellové Technique is a non-impact conditioning class that incorporates the pure techniques of ballet, yoga, fitness, Pilates, and physical therapy. Ellové brings students on a journey of understanding our body mechanics in addition to holistic wellness.

AMY WERNER (Dance Physical Therapist) is the Director of Dance Medicine and Rehabilitation at New Heights Physical Therapy in Portland, OR, and contributing physical therapist to The Ellové Technique®. She has extensive training in dance medicine with over a decade of experience working with dancers of all ages and dance styles. Her background as a dancer, since age three, and university dance science major uniquely qualifies her to address every patient with a dancer's eye for detail of movement. Amy's approach emphasizes a whole-body perspective to patient recovery and her zeal for healthy movement fuels her practice. She values one-on-one treatment with the goal of educating her patients to independently manage their own symptoms.

LAURA HANEY (Master Instructor) grew up in Colorado Springs, CO, and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, where she studied dance and music. She was a member of River North Dance Company and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, was a featured performer in the First National Tour of Fosse and a cast member of the Broadway musical A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden for two seasons. Laura was a company member of BodyVox from 2005-2008 and most recently performed with Lane Hunter Dance. She is a certified Pilates, BeMoved®, and Ellové Technique® instructor and has taught numerous dance workshops and master classes across the country. Laura spent 12 years directing the dance program and student company at Multnomah Athletic Club and is now the Business Manager for The Ellové Technique.

Photo Credit: Melissa Nornes

Photo Credit: Blaine Covert

Moving Prana- Dance, Yoga, Life and Artistry

Sara Parker, Dance Chair, Portland Community College; Instructor/Choreographer- BodyVox Dance


Workshop Description: Dance engages, questions, makes sense of, and expands our understanding of how one energetically and artistically confronts the meaning of existence. Dance employs the physical plane of existence and form, as well as the energetic plane of what we cannot see, but know exists. As a dance artist, I have the unique opportunity to consciously engage in energy and form on a daily basis, shifting and shaping how I experience the world around me. In this presentation, I will describe how yogic philosophy, ritual and metaphor influence my artistic (teaching, choreography and performance) endeavors, surrendering to the unknown of making art in a form that utilizes the body as the medium for creation. I will additionally address how my interests as a dance artist have impacted my teaching practice,  and how my creative research comes alive in the classroom environment. 


Sara Parker is a dance artist who resides in Portland, OR. She holds an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (2015) and a B.S. in Dance from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR (2009). Currently, she is the Dance SAC Chair at Portland Community College, and teaches and choreographs at BodyVox Dance in the Junior Artist Generator Program (JAG) as well as open class offerings. Her choreographic work has appeared at BodyVox Dance Center (OR), The Brunish (OR), Lincoln Performance Hall (OR), Conduit Dance Inc. (OR), Portland Community College (OR), Portland State University (OR), The Headwaters Theatre (OR), Northwest Professional Dance Project Studio and Performance Center (OR), The Hult Center (OR), Mariott Center for Dance (UT), Mudson (UT), and the Ladies Literary Club (UT). Sara believes that dance is a radical act of liberating one’s body to fully engage and connect with the deeper and more subtle layers existence. Her work has been influenced by the esoteric anatomy and philosophical belief systems of yoga, as well as myth, storytelling, and ritual. Additionally, her creative research is embedded in her contemporary dance classes, serving as a method of physical, intellectual, and artistic inquiry.

BMCsm Weight Flow: Feet to Pelvis to Spine

Mary L. Seereiter, Program Director Moving Within SME Program

Workshop Description: Body-Mind Centering®, the pioneering research of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, is an investigation of movement, anatomy, embryology and development from birth to walking. This session will include movement, review of the skeleton, an explanation of how gravity flows from the earth through the bones of the feet, legs, thighs, pelvic halves and into the spine. There will be an emphasis on sensing, feeling and a query of action. The basis of this content is a dynamic support for dance techniques.

Facilitated by Mary Lou Seereiter, RSMET, CMA, MS Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist Certified Practitioner and Teacher of Body-Mind Centering® Certified Laban Movement Analyst™ Certified Authentic Movement Facilitator Bachelor's & Master’s of Science Degree in Dance, UO Director of Lane Community Dance Program 1980-2003

Involve Students in Choreography using DanceAbility Method Improvisation

Shannon Mockli, Jana Meszaros

Workshop Description: Drawing upon relation and sensation-based improvisation structures from the DanceAbility method, we will offer ideas for collaborating with students to generate choreography and discuss how these activities can be engaged within all dance genres. Drawing upon my experience teaching Freshmen college students and conducting a workshop with young dancers at the Eugene Ballet Academy this past Fall, I observed that the clarity and emphasis on relationship and sensation in DanceAbility improvisation structures were engaging for students and seemed to enhance their sense of connection to the dances they were doing.  Collaborating with students to help generate choreography, even with brief but effective strategies using sensation-based structures, can provide students a sense of ownership within the dance, potentially creating a more meaningful experience.

Shannon Mockli is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Oregon with an emphasis in choreography and performance. Shannon has danced choreographers such as Stephen Koester, Brad Garner, Eric Handman, Abby Fiat, Tandy Beale, Doug Elkins, Pamela Geber, and Satu Hummasti. She performs regularly in Eugene and throughout Oregon, and has presented nationally at the Bailando Dance Festival, AWARD show Seattle, the La Mama Theater and White Wave Dance Festival in NYC, New York Dance Alliance 50th Anniversary, and at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Theater in Salt Lake City.  International presentations include the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Newfoundland, Physical Theatre Lab in Slovenia, and the Festival Internacional Danza al Borde in Tijuana, Mexico. Her dance film, “Fluctuating Frequencies” was one of three highlighted at the World Dance Alliance Americas Assembly at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla 2016. Shannon has been honored with the Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy and recently earned her certification for teaching in the DanceAbility Method in Vienna.


Jana Meszaros is a Master Teacher of the DanceAbility method, receiving her credential in Trier, Germany in 2017. She is one of 25 people in the world that have received this level of training in DanceAbility, which is the leading method of inclusive pedagogy in the world and has brought more people into the field of mixed abilities dance than any organization that exists. Prior to her Master's Training, she completed two teacher certification courses, four teacher intensives, has assisted DanceAbility's founder Alito Alessi, and in 2015 secured a grant to mentor directly with Alessi. She has taught teacher intensives in the US and led DanceAbility classes and workshops nationally and internationally. Currently she serves as Rehearsal Director for DanceAbility's professional dance company, and produces her own work in Eugene, Oregon where she lives. She received her Bachelor's degree from University of Oregon in Dance and Business Administration as a Staton Scholar in 2009. As a movement educator, contemporary choreographer, performer and musician, she has held artistic residencies in San Francisco, CA and Oregon.

Creating Developmentally Appropriate Choreography for Young Children

Rachel Närhi

Workshop Description: When working with young children (ages 3-8), we all want our students to feel successful and look good while performing on stage. However, the complex task performance requires, including executing choreography under a stressful situation, doesn’t always align with our student’s developmental abilities. In this lecture, we briefly go over the common physical, mental, and emotional abilities of these age groups and how those abilities are effected by stress such as performing on stage. I’ll then discuss several strategies for making choreographic choices, such as dance duration, movement choices, choreographic structures and formations, that will improve outcomes. By aligning choreography to our students abilities, they have a more confident, successful experience and our young dancers will look cleaner and stronger on stage.

Rachel Närhi is the President and founder of the Oregon Dance Education Organization. She has a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. With over 20 years teaching experience, she has had the privilege of working at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Western Washington University and Young Audiences of SW Washington and Oregon, among others. Ms. Närhi currently teaches with Portland Public Schools. Additionally, she has extensive experience in nonprofit administration, board relations, start-ups and small business management. In 2007, Ms. Närhi founded Open Flame Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company that melded contemporary ballet and fire performance. Her works have been commissioned by The Seattle Opera, The Burning Man Festival, The Seattle Solstice Fire Festival, Western Washington University, and performed throughout western North America.

The Art of Being a Teaching Artist

Kasandra Gruener

Workshop Description: Dance Teaching Artists have a special place in our K-12 schools, often providing movement education to children who have little or no previous exposure. These residencies include collaborative arrangements with classroom teachers who may also have limited experience with movement and its rich creative process, so they may be eager to embrace or reluctant about "dance in school."  

Kasandra Gruener, long time Director of Education Outreach at Oregon Ballet Theatre will guide a group discussion about the TAs collaborative process,  successful strategies,  joys and challenges for Teaching Artists. Let's share our questions and reveal best practices!

Kasandra Gruener is  the Director of Education Outreach at Oregon Ballet Theatre. An Oregon native, she has a BA in Dance from Mills College and an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. She was a member of San Francisco based Margaret Jenkins Dance Co., and founded her own company, Henry Harris Green. In her 35+ years as a teaching artist, she has conducted master classes, workshops, and daily technique classes in dance studios, NEA-funded Artist-in-Schools programs in the Midwest, private and public K-12 schools, colleges, community centers, hospitals, group homes, and child care centers. A specialist in teaching at-risk youth, Kasandra earned the 2007 and 2009 Young Audiences’ Sunburst Award for commitment to arts education. In 2009, Kasandra was a guest professor at Portland State University in the theatre department’s dance minor program. She presently serves on the Community Arts Team, a committee of arts and education leaders working to assist Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council (a 2010 Kennedy Center Partner in Education) in its efforts to expand arts education and professional development in our schools.

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Oregon Dance Education Organization

PO Box 82813
Portland, OR 97282