Stephanie is a master teacher of Open Source Forms, Improvisation, movement-based Performance-Making, & Skinner Releasing. She has also taught modern & postmodern dance.
She has taught throughout the US & Europe at numerous colleges, universities, theaters, & dance centers, including the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, Naropa Institute, Movement Research, Bridge Project in San Francisco, Wesleyan University, Bennington College, Juniata College, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland Baltimore & College Park, Cornish College, Evergreen State College, University of Washington, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, Center for New Dance Development in Arnhem, Independent Dance in London, Coventry University in UK, La Caldera & Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, ImproEvents in Prague, Montreal's Circuit-Est, Istanbul's Bosporus University, Italy's Container12, and theater schools in the Netherlands, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany, Portugal, the UK, Wales, Italy & Denmark. She was on core faculty of the Skinner Releasing Intensive and Teacher Certification Program in Seattle for 14 years, on Graduate Faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama Professional Actors Training Program for five years, & is a frequent guest artist in Juniata College's innovative theater program. In 2009, she instigated Open Source Forms Teacher Certification.
Open Source Forms (OSF)
Instigated by Stephanie in 2009, & drawing on decades of continuing research & practice in improvisation, creative process, innovative composition techniques, & her extensive background in Skinner Releasing, OSF offers classes, workshops & a Teacher Certification Program, focusing on cross-feritilizations and deep commonalities of Skinner Releasing & creative process.
Tools for finding freedom, rigor, & specificity of movement that's as unique & multi-layered as our individual life experience. These sessions often integrate writing, drawing, voice, & site-specific investigations to access the richness of our subconscious. Participants work in solos, groups, and with objects as well as each other. Sessions focus on specific ways to relate to each other, methods that ultimately combine into a rich, free & responsive improvisational presence. Over the past twenty-five years, Stephanie has developed a precise, supportive, empowering, freeing & challenging progression of classes to empower performers in the improvisational moment: rooted in a conscious specificity, free of inhibition, accessing the intuitive & the subconscious, & inviting the mind to participate in a collaborative way. Her approach derives from her rehearsal process, celebrating the power, totality, & uniqueness of each performer. She has a passion for collaboration at every level, feels it as much a political as an artistic choice, & finds that collaborative process nurtures growth of all participants.
"Stephanie was a constant inspiration and I feel I have only scratched the surface in terms of her knowledge and ability to deliver a concept and task effortlessly without ever being overpowering or to dominate. I always felt she had such a wealth of knowledge (her life's work) that she could set up an improvisation based on the smallest detail." (Choreographer, London)
A radical approach to composition, integrating intuitive with analytical, to find structures for repeatable performance events. Sessions include working with 'scores' as a remarkable & fertile way to find both method & structure that's unique for each project.
Beginning in 1994, Stephanie has developed 'Finding Forms' as a response to a perceived need to take the next step from improvisation to varying degrees of repeatable performance events. The aim is to find ways of allowing intuition to guide the structural process, to recognize that 'form is a revelation of content', and to access the enormous creative excitement of discovering form with right-left brain collaboration.
"Stephanie has created a precise, playful, soulful progression of classes which encourage and support the whole self to be engaged in its own individual creative process." [Performer, NYC]
Courage + Rigor + Freedom
Workshop for experienced practitioners in dance and theater. Cultivating conceptual & creative courage, freedom, and rigor in performance-making. Limited to 12 students. By application.
- immerse ourselves in creative work -- deeply & rigorously
- access the subconscious as source and tool
- open the voice -- literally and figuratively
- trust our inner world as a resource in improvisational & creative structural practice
- let ideas manifest physically
- access technique as resource and find the courage to transcend it -- in presence, vulnerability, and ideological freedom
- find ways to pursuing our ideas and our structuring methods that continue to be inspired throughout the performance-making process
- find unfettered presence of body and voice: resonant, powerful, simple
The work you shared with us is still ringing in my bones, and reveals itself to me in so many wonderful ways. It was a wonderful feeling to walk away from the studio in Seattle feeling like I fell in love with everyone...and dance...and the poetry of life...again. The experience for me of moving and sharing and learning with all of you was so fertile and rich. I am tracking images, phrases, internal movements, and meanings in some kind of poetic way. Thank you for your gift of inspiration. Bonnie Simoa, teacher & choreographer, Eugene, OR
I can't say enough about how wonderful, inspiring and confidence building my time with you in Seattle was. Susanna Hood, multi-artist, dancer, musician, performer, teacher, Toronto
It was a grand 6 days and hopefully can begin a model for future workshops & private process-mentoring. It was a powerful experience for all involved and quite transformational. The workshop left me with a fire for more, more, more....I am so amazed by everyone's generosity to show raw ideas, explorations, and really go for it. And I so appreciated the focus on performance as a generous act to inspire as opposed to showing off. Performing, for me, doesn't feel like a selfish act, but sometimes I worry. Nate Dryden, performer, dancer, choreographer, teacher, Seattle
I'm all a-buzz. Lila Hurwitz, teacher, dancer, artist, Seattle.
Skinner Releasing (SRT)
is a pioneering approach to movement and to learning, & one of the techniques informing contemporary dance in the past 40 years. This practice is about shedding layers, finding primal movement grace, power & intensity, and catalyzing one's own process. It involves imagery as a powerful tool for transformation, and integrates technical growth with creative process. Stephanie teaches Skinner Releasing at Introductory & Ongoing (Intermediate) levels. A skilled Teacher Trainer of SRT teachers at Introductory & Ongoing levels, she worked closely with the technique's founder, Joan Skinner, assisted her development of the Teacher Certification Program, & oversaw annual Seattle summer workshops during 1994-2006.
"I felt lithe, powerful, and always more whole than I am accustomed to feeling - a complete being moving with hypersensitive integration. A beautiful day - endless ideas, limitless energy." (Dancer, Toronto)
Stephanie teaches residencies from one day to several weeks. Please contact us for more information on teaching residencies & fees.