Comments from Students: Improvisation & Finding Forms

"Stephanie is a wonderful, complex, opened, perceptive, instinctual teacher --- real –- who understands the individual creative process & creates the environment where it can be discovered & nurtured in each person."

"Human poetry is what I felt I I witnessed for three weeks & in all the pieces we created & witnessed on the last day. Profound! Profound! Free association, physical exploration, abstractness, following impulse & not mental ideas, trusting the body & the unconscious, suggestion, essence, space, time, qualities of textures, energy, images – so much richness to take with me & continue with! The inspiration from that experience is very powerful – it makes process real for me in a new way, as I can tend to think my way out of things out of fear that the process isn’t real or valid. It is all such a confirmation of what my guts have hoped  was true!"

"The delivery of this course was so articulate, thoughtful, & from such a place of knowledge & understanding – it’s blown my mind. It will take forever to digest the depth of such rich information."

"Stephanie is a remarkable inspiration. Fantastically creative, informed & expert strategies for working with improvisation. Confidence to pursue ideas to manifestation. New perspectives, great support. A way of developing, working & revisiting, re-exploring my work. So much! This really supported me to envision how I can develop my work. I really hoped I would find this here and did – thank you."

"Stephanie’s teaching was immaculately prepared & obviously conscientiously planned out. Her participation within the tasks was extremely supportive & constantly created ‘openings’ for us. The opportunity to collaborate on the spot, to give & receive feedback, to observe others in process in a very supportive environment. Stephanie’s support, whether direct or indirect, created the essential element of trust in our group, which I think was apparent in the experimental nature of everyone’s work."

"This postcard is to express my deepest appreciation & delight that I study with you. So seeing, so encouraging, so open to life’s endless possibilities – your lessons are a joyful, sensitive & beautiful adventure!"

"With this workshop I experienced a re-awakening of a long-lost connection between body & its experience of an art form. I leave the room with the sensation that I have really connected with many parts of my unconscious, my feelings, & with areas of my body that are able to talk in a different language."

"Your teaching gives dancers/movers a safe arena for subtle, risk-taking imagistic movement exploration. This ultimately is the gift of more of themselves." 

"You instigated a no-holds-barred adventure for me in terms of what the body can or is allowed to express."

"I would definitely like to work with Stephanie Skura again as she was a constant inspiration and I feel that I have only scratched the surface in terms or her knowledge and ability to deliver a concept and task effortlessly without ever being overpowering or to dominate. I always felt that she had such a wealth of knowledge (her life's work) that she could set up an improvisation based on the smallest detail."

"You are revolutionary- helping to free us all from the confines of our own minds to the freedom of our consciousness." 

"You are such an amazing teacher because of your continual discovery in your own artistic process."

"You communicate a vision of what improvisation and creative process is
about, and lead us into finding it for ourselves, in ourselves.  It's really inspiring."

"I think I finally understand how revolutionary your ideas & approaches are for dancing, teaching, creating work, living. And perhaps also how ‘dangerous’ in the sense that your ideas challenge others’ ways of thinking, moving, living." 

"What an opening, exalted week. Truly beautiful & energizing. I feel so supported, so creative, I’m on top of the world. I feel open to creativity in a way I’ve felt stifled for a long time. I’m motivated, full of inspiration & the tools to tackle this solo performance that’s been festering (but not really growing) in my mind for some time now. I crave more – please let me know about other opportunities!" Actress, Philadelphia

"The feedback we’ve been receiving is fantastic. I want you to know how important your workshop is for the artistic community, not just in Toronto, but regionally. The participants told me they were grateful for the opportunity to be refreshed with new ideas & techniques they couldn’t find in Toronto." Director, Series 808

"Working in the studio a fair bit in the last couple of months, I’m appreciating anew all your teaching over the last few years. You’ve given me ideas & resources I find myself coming back to again & again. Thank you!" Alex Crowe, dancer, performer, London.

"Your ideas & explorations within the improvisational process have stuck with me deeply & have come up often in conversation & movement practice."

"The work makes me feel clairvoyant! Jeez!"

"You allowed the method & tools to explore & start to understand many powerful concepts."

"I’ve gained multitudes of new ideas & lots of stimulus for improvisation from attending your classes. I appreciate your intelligent, fluid & observant teaching, & so greatly valued your classes."

"Meeting you & your work has given me a tail wind –"

"I want to say a big thank you for the work & ‘beingness’ of you over the summer, & how inspired I am by your movement sensitivity & creativity. I’ve soaked up so much & it’s so alive in me."

"I feel it has been through your classes and seeing your choreography that I am very excited about something."

"I’m struck by how easily my development opens up after some time of working with you. Both times I worked with you, something quite explosive happened to me. Your work really combines inspiration & creativity with physiological change & development – the how and the why together." Sheri Cohen

"One of the most beneficial courses I have taken in the 3 years I have been at Cornish."

"A great class. I found places inside of me that have never been tapped into before & have helped my dancing incredibly. Stephanie allows room for questions & creativity which really gives me a chance for self-exploration."

"Stephanie is a master. I loved her classes. She made me think in an expansive way about movement & performing." UW PATP student

"Stephanie is a visionary in her field. This class has completely changed the way I work as an artist, & has completely changed the way I move. It was essential in the development of my thesis show." UW PATP student

"You create an inspiring, safe, harmonious environment in which to create & watch. Thank you!"

"Your classes were so fun I forgot I was intimidated! You’re an inspiring teacher - making things both challenging & fun AND helping everyone feel good about what they’re doing. You’re a GREAT dancer."

"I discovered a taste for improvisation that I never thought I’d have."

"I have felt intimidated by African dance & other more free & improvisational forms. I had the notion that ‘I’m not creative or expressive’. So, this weekend was very freeing & encouraging. This feels like a great opening – thank you so very much!"

"Thank you once again for your inspiration, support & generosity during the summer intensive. We have been working together to directly carry on the work we began with you, & planning to perform it. It is living on in London."

"This class has fundamentally changed the way I approach movement. And the way I approach acting. And performance in general." UW PATP student

"This class was not only intellectually stimulating, but physically stimulating as well. It was like going to a division one football practice. When you first arrive you know the challenge & demand & are intimidated by the greatness. But at the end of the session the rewards are tremendous." UW PATP student

"This class was extraordinary in liberating creativity in movement, breath, awareness."

"She is amazing. This class has changed the way I think about movement entirely." Actor, UW PATP

"Invaluable in freeing my imagination, in aiding my coordination, strength, & mental & physical agility. This is one of the best opportunities we actors have to challenge ourselves to be entirely spontaneous & in the moment. I did things, and witnessed my classmates do things, with my body I never dreamed possible."

"The improvisation classes opened me up tremendously. Stephanie is superb. The use of free association, the safety & intimacy that was fostered, the use of releasing imagery – were all vital & effective."

"This course was just amazing. I learned & discovered more than I ever imagined I could. New ways of relating to people, sound, space, the environment, stillness."

"I’ve found an extraordinary balance of intellect & intuition, and gentleness & rigor in this work. This class expanded my capacity for movement. I loved the freedom allowed within its structure, the daily writings, the clarity of Ms. Skura, the sophistication of the material." UW PATP student

"Thank you for your immense artistry, fun & wisdom. Most of all thank you for your love, generous warmth, & opulent abundance."

"Thank you for offering new & innovative approaches to moving, seeing movement, thinking about movement. And helping me to learn to trust my process & my intuition." Skinner Releasing Teacher Trainee

"Thank you for your teaching, your support, & presence. I think of you & what you are teaching all the time. Your improvisational language is providing a starting point & deepens my improvisation." Dancer, NYC

"I have been searching for three years for a form of dance that is true to the self - I think now I have really found a path to explore."

"My experiences from your classes have had huge resonance through my life and dance."

"I’m feeling connected to myself for the first time in a long time. My body, mind emotions, reactions & spirit are working as one entity. I separate myself into different focuses. Academics challenge my mind, sports challenge my body, social pressures challenge my emotions. I’m learning to connect them again. I’m also learning to let go of my mind’s intense desire to control everything." Student, Juniata College

"We appreciate your concentration, creativity, & integrity both with movement material and the body-minds in your hands/trust who make it." Martha Myers, Dean, American Dance Festival

"Beautifully taught. Very gracious & inclusive."

"You make miracles happen, & have guided me so helpfully, strongly, energetically, personally."

"I learned a million things! I loved this course! I gained some strategies for working with & picking through the mad creative torrent that pours out of me, & quite often tries to wash me away. Now I can swim & dive & wriggle, in addition to floating. The class made me happy."

"Very exciting class. Really valuable to me. Not mapping emotion was such a shift for me, but I came to see how much more power & emotion can arise."

"The score work is a great treasure for me. It’s like a multi-functional tool for any process. Your work, the inspiration you‘re giving people, & the way you‘re leading your lessons is very very precious."

"Extremely satisfying work. Finding expression for ideas, images, thoughts, colors, whatever. Opened my eyes to infinite possibilities. The concept of scores is so liberating & extending."

"I really enjoyed this class. Stephanie has such a simple, clear, insightful way of communicating. It was fun & spontaneous, & gave me confidence & ideas."

"Stephanie’s class is very inspirational to this aspiring choreographer. I’ve been very fortunate to have been studying with her often. I loved the opportunity to try out an idea without any pressure. Safe, playful environment. The opportunity to encourage my classmates, to give as a dancer to someone‘s vision & have that very respected." 

"Stephanie was very skillful in developing a feeling of trust & mutual support. Concepts were clear & unfolded beautifully so that the work was always challenging but not overwhelming. Interesting new ways of looking at dance, choreography, improvisation. Many seeds have been planted that I’ll enjoy cultivating. This is exactly what I had hoped for. Stephanie did a beautiful job of encouraging each participant to find their own voice."

"I gained the fantastic experience of being inside an artistic process while in a released state; the chance to come up against my own limitations & challenge those limits; & the chance to simultaneously hold onto a strong awareness of self while being available & responsive to external environment & others."

"I greatly appreciate Stephanie’s supportive attitude to each & every one of our projects. I gained a great deal of clarity about different aspects of my creative process, & about bringing it to reality. I learned that I can follow my instincts & trust my visions. I learned to let go of self-consciousness when it comes to expressing myself & developing my ideas."

"Enhancing compositional responses as well as inner responses – all wonderful new concepts to practice! Being abstract with an idea, following textures, tempos just as they are & trusting that the body will have its own communication. Stephanie’s classes were thought out & thorough & yet all about space, openness, allowing, responding, tuning into the myriad possibilities of impulses, precise, supple, clear. This process opened many doors of awareness & has given me a hands-on direction to move in. I gained access to my creative self that transcends category. I was turned upside-down – disoriented in a delightful way. Even when I didn’t feel comfortable, there was trust because I felt so quietly, deeply supported without interference, given so much space & guided in a very clear way through the exercises. Ah, the power of humor….."

"Way fun! Stephanie is a wondrous teacher. Ability & permission to bring my skill in visual art to dance – what a wonderful concept."

"She gave me ideas to make my own world in composition."

"Ahh – a breath of inspiration! There were infinite options. I gained a sense of possibility in any idea I have, however weird, big or small."

"Clearly & intelligently taught. I’m taking home a mass of new ideas & reworking of old ones to feed me & my work for some time."

"Answered my central dance questions about process."