We are seeking new members for our Board of Directors. If you are interested, please find more information here
Earthdance Board of Directors
Bio coming soon!
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!
Spirit Joseph served as Co-Executive Director of Earthdance from 2005-2011. He currently works as a Program Manager for the Cooperative Fund of New England, which provides financing and technical assistance to cooperatives throughout new England. Spirit holds an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management with a concentration in finance, and also serves on the Board of Windhorse Associates. He discovered Contact Improvisation in 2000 and dove deeply into the form, attending every jam and workshop he could find for several years. He later expanded to study various forms of dance improvisation and somatic movement. In the past, Spirit has performed with the Dance Generators (a multi-generational dance company based in Northampton) and with Group Atness (an improvisational dance collective which he co-founded with several other dancers).
I'm a CI teacher and practitioner of 25+ years, also interested in contemporary dance, dancing-making practices and improvisation community and performance. I have worked over the years dancing with people who are incarcerated and decided recently to pursue my MSW at Columbia University. I'm currently doing an internship at Bronx Defenders, doing defense-based social work to keep people out of jail and completing my social work degree. I currently live in NYC for the year but usually live in Red Hook NY, with my two daughters and partner. I am an Earthdance Board member, long time ED community member and huge fan. I am excitedly working in committee on the beginnings of Earthdance Institute, and finding new ways to keep dance in my life.
Chris Orth has been part of the dance community since 1974 when friends introduced him to Dance Free in Cambridge. Though he flirted with Contact Improvisation over the years, he was in his sixties before he became a regular at Jams. A long time DNE member, he felt at home at Earthdance right away. Chris had a 20 year career in finance as an Accountant and Budget Analyst before his fascination with new technology lead him to change careers. For the last 15 years he has worked as a programmer and currently works for a prominent tech company in downtown Boston. Chris is known as approachable, open-minded, and a person people choose to confide in. These qualities help him navigate his career, and find diplomatic solutions when others can’t. He has two grown daughters and lives in the suburbs of Boston.
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.
Kara Wood has engaged in movement exploration throughout her life. As a child she took classes in various dance forms, as a college student she studied technique, choreography, and performance, and as an adult she discovered the joy and freedom of improvisational dance and Contact Improvisation. Kara has also been a certified yoga teacher (RYT-500) since 2001. With this combined background of dance and yoga, she continues to cherish the process of uncovering hidden layers of the body, mind and heart through movement. Kara owns a manufacturing company and an urban planning consultation business and has served on many non-profit boards of directors.