We are seeking new members for our Board of Directors. If you are interested, please find more information here
Earthdance Board of Directors
Susan M. Arnsten-Russell is known to many, in the Earthdance community and beyond, as a dancer and an artist. Susan is also known as a gardener, a mother, a wife and an occupational therapist. All of these roles depended on careful cultivation of resources and collaboration with diverse groups of people. Susan is committed to the continued existence of Earthdance. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
Bio coming soon!
I am a visual artist, parent to 2 girls (one 31 and one 9 ), a pediatric Occupational Therapist in the public schools for 20 years, traveler to many many dance events/centers/retreats over the last 30 years throughout the states and Canada, and a long-time somatic geek and improvisational dancer.
On an organizational level I have been a curator on and off over the years of smaller scale improv dance performances, primary organizer for 35+ person CI retreats, some grant writing experience as an OT, and a participant on many sub-committees and training teams to promote strategies to be used school district-wide to proactively promote sensory regulation in students versus solely behavioral interventions. I’m passionate about teaching youth /teens and the adults who support them, healthy stress management strategies.
As an OT working in public schools ( WI, CA, and WA) and as a lower-income single parent myself some years ago, I understand many aspects of the impact that trauma, racism, inequity, poverty, and lack of community support can have on individuals. Art and dance are healing modalities but are often inaccessible either financially or logistically to those who need it most. I look forward to helping Earthdance thrive and continue to attract those who do have the means as well as build bridges for those with fewer resources to attend and thrive from the experience as well.
Amii LeGendre has been involved in contemporary and improvisational dance forms for 25 years as a choreographer, performer, teacher, learner, and facilitator.
She was an adjunct faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts (1998-2005) and Bard College (2010-2017). She also taught with Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA), programs that host degree-bearing and art-making experiences for incarcerated individuals. She has been a CI practitioner for 30 years. She just left dance professionally for social work, looking to mix research from a life of art-making and movement practice with evidence-based therapies and justice work to support vulnerable families, especially those impacted by addiction and incarceration. She has been involved with Earthdance for 15 years, and has 2 daughters who've been raised on annual Earthdance programming and community practice.
As an improvisational dancer and somatic explorer, dance and community are vital parts of my existence and life experience. I am a body therapist by trade, landscaper, traveller, and dedicated learner of movement.
Compared to many, I am a "newbie" to Earthdance and western Massachusetts- I arrived and dove in in 2017. I recognize the power, privilege and honor it is to be on this board, and am dedicated to serve and support Earthdance and its constituents as best I can. A Bachelors in Business Administration: Management and Human Resources as well as 11 years living abroad, job experience in marketing, sales, and the service industry all influence the lense I view from on this board.
I have been deeply involved with Earthdance for the past 20 years as participant, teacher, student, community member, donor, jam facilitator, and (at times) staff, board, or committee member. Earthdance has been a site of tremendous personal and professional growth for me, as well as, a chosen home and family. It is a place that returns me to who I want to be in the world, as well as a place where I encounter many challenges and growing edges – both in myself and in Earthdance as an organization.
Professionally I work full-time as professor of dance at Emerson College. I am also a teacher of contact improvisation. Over the past 20 years I have taught and performed CI around the USA, as well as in various places in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Argentina. I hold an MFA in Choreography from the Ohio State University, and my choreographic work largely focuses on community-based projects. Prior to becoming a dance educator in higher education, I worked in non-profit management for several years.