Elizabeth Johnson

07 May 2021 Published in UBSI

Elizabeth Johnson, BFA (George Mason University), MFA (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is a performer, choreographer, educator, Laban/Bartenieff movement analyst (GL-CMA), Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique (M.AmSAT, ATI), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200), and Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T—ISMETA). An embodied academic, her teaching and research include the integration of aesthetics, anatomy, kinesiology, somatic inquiry, and critical and social justice theories into dance technique and composition pedagogies. Her creative work—rooted in autobiography and her love/hate relationship with popular culture—aims to subvert cultural tropes regarding propriety, relationships, and bodies as objects/commodities. Since 2004, her company, Your Mother Dances, has featured her choreography as well as produced national and regional guest artists (US); her work has been seen in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and beyond. Johnson has also performed professionally with David Parker and The Bang Group (NYC), Sara Hook Dances (NYC), and Molly Rabinowitz Liquid Grip (NYC).

Johnson’s approach to dance pedagogy is often spurred by her intense adolescent experiences at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she trained in classical ballet with Balanchine ballerina Melissa Hayden as well as former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and American Ballet Theatre dancers. Influenced by developmental movement and prosocial/trauma informed education, she teaches and presents nationally and internationally on dance/movement pedagogies and somatics. Johnson has co-authored/authored three book chapters that consider Alexander Technique/somatic and developmental movement applications for: promoting conscious embodiment in response to new media technologies (University of Quebec/PUQ), the psychophysical demands of arts performance (Springer International Publishing), and “pedagogies of healing” designed to address internalized trauma from abusive practices inherent in much historical ballet training (Intellect). She has served on Dance faculties at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University North Carolina-Greensboro, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Texas Tech University, and is now at the University of Florida.