ARTs + Change Virtual Conference
Virtual Event

Through dance, we can find commonalities and ways of communicating that transcend differences in life experiences. Through the course Dance and Interdependent Community at University of Rochester with two distinct community partners in the city’s Beechwood neighborhood, we were able to form a community of learning and a community of trust where all participants grew, shared, struggled, and succeeded, sometimes all in a single session.

In this workshop, we will share some of our stories as well as guide participants through some of the ways in which we collectively established an environment of mutual respect. Working together with a community of older adults of color, and with a community of women in recovery, each participant including university students and a faculty member moved back-and-forth between the roles of expert and novice, and all of us experienced shifts of perspective and a connection through dance.

Katherine Serna is a 2022 graduate of the University of Rochester, majoring in dance and creative writing. Her choreography and performance has been shared in various formal concerts at the University, and she has performed in faculty and student work in regional conferences and on campus. She is a published writer, having won numerous awards for her written work, her dance filmmaking and her interdisciplinary work. 

Missy Pfohl Smith is a choreographer, performer and collaborative artist who directs the Program of Dance and Movement and the Institute for the Performing Arts at the University of Rochester and is artistic director for the collaborative company, BIODANCE, based in Rochester, NY. She enjoys creating site-specific work such as three acclaimed full-evening length shows Anomaly, Labyrinth and The Fragile Corridor crafted for a 4 story planetarium in collaboration with media artist W. Michelle Harris, dancers, composers and musicians. Her choreography, performance and teaching has spanned across the US and internationally, most recently in Greece, Finland, Scotland and Germany.


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