BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance

Education

BodyStories is dedicated to unleashing embodied creativity and empowering individuals through dance and dance education. With a strong background in cultural arts activism, we build a foundation of confidence and responsibility that fosters growth, imagination, and awareness, and strengthens trust and communication with movement. We are certified and well-equipped to engage diverse populations from young children to senior citizens, corporate business groups to pre-professional and recreational dancers, and physically disabled and/or neurodivergent individuals.

For more information contact education@bodystoriesfellion.org. We are excited to dance with you in our current classes or design a specific program that meets your needs and empowers your community.

Offerings

Programs for Adults

We offer regular classes in New York City for both professional and recreational dancers, designed to find the joy in movement, the humor in bodies and make connections through dance.

 

Company Class

Company Class every Monday 10-11:30 for professional dancers.

 

Dance it Out!

We believe that movement is freeing and invite you to loosen up with us in dance cardio classes for adults to relieve stress, create friendships, and find your groove. Through hip hop, contemporary dance, and gyrotonics techniques, BodyStories’ Teresa Fellion will get you moving to the music you love in ways that will strengthen, enrich, and heal. All experience levels welcome!

Youth Programs

For youth, we have taught a diverse range of techniques as well as providing structured opportunities to explore and delight in dance creation.

 

After School

During the school year, BodyStories offers after school dance programming beginning in late September and take place on weekday afternoons.

 

Summer Programs

We are excited to share our BodyStories Dance Curriculum with young dancers, exploring contemporary, modern dance, jazz, hiphop, ballet, Central and West African, salsa, swing, broadway jazz, and folk dance. We also expose students to movements from BodyStories repertory including techniques integral to our company process, and support them to create their own movement through our composition classes! We offer program appropriate for ages 6-12 or 12-18, with variations for different experience levels. This Summer, we are thrilled to be bringing our curriculum to The Ross School Summer Program for a sixth summer!

Residencies & Master Classes

We have engaged advanced dancers at colleges and dance programs across the country, exploring contemporary dance technique, composition and improvisation approaches, experimentation with audience interaction and immersive performance, conceptual research, as well as developing work around social justice and identity with sensitivity and awareness.

 

Repertory Residency

Work with BodyStories to bring pieces from our repertory to your institution for unique insight into our movement techniques and development process. Select from key works like Home, rose walk green ice, and reeling –>healing, which explore complex emotional landscapes and social awareness through dance. Visit our Works page to see what might be a good fit for your community!

 

Composition and Improvisation

Through workshops or expanded residencies on composition and improvisation, we uncover personal movement histories expanding the concept of dance and empowering dancers to embrace their unique backgrounds and experiences towards creating original movement. Individual sequences can also be threaded together into collaborative works or provide the seeds for personal choreographic projects. Also trained in postmodern, Graham and Cunningham techniques, we offer intensive improvisational sessions that explore expressive movements, extending the body, partnering techniques, and rigorous exploration of shifts in pace and direction.

 

Technique Intensives

Drawing on techniques we have studied, performed, and used in choreography for several years, we lead specific technique-driven workshops that honor the lineages of Horton, Graham, Cunningham, Limon, release technique, ballet, contemporary ballet, and contact improvisation. These intensives can be structured to use a variety of modes to hone a particular skill such as body mechanics, strengthening, or pacing, specifically, or they can be focused on unlocking the potential of a particular technique to enhance a variety of skills simultaneously.

 

Immersive Techniques

Building on BodyStories extensive repertory of integrative works, we expose dancers to different methods of incorporating audience members and how these elements can expand and augment concepts in a piece, making new pathways for connection through dance. We will discuss the practical and conceptual aspects of audience integration to take a broad view of where and how it can be most effective. These workshops will also invite dancers to consider space and context, encouraging site-specific research and exploration, as well as considering size and composition of their potential audience. We will use our own movement research to explore how dance can be flexible around different ages and experience levels of audience members so they can be invited into the dance in comfortable and empowering ways.

 

Conceptual Research Integration

These workshops or residencies build on our background in social justice and cultural arts activism, developing works that begin with collecting and then responding to particular materials. With extensive repertory focused on social justice and identity, we invite dancers to engage with conceptual research on a shared cultural subject or mining personal archives to develop work. Depending on the time available, images and video material are provided on a particular topic, or dancers can pursue their own research interests and contribute these materials to the group to create a collective archive around which to develop movement. During a past residency at Wilson College, BodyStories’ Teresa Fellion navigated students through movement exploration of fear and anxiety about school shootings and other personal and public traumas. Students responded to images and videos, tapping into personal experiences of anxiety and shock to create original movement sequences.

 

Specialized Workshops

These unique offerings have developed out of BodyStories commitment to expanding access to dance and exploring its motivating, healing, and empowering aspects. We are always looking to partner with new organizations to offer workshops and experiences that enrich and serve the community.

 

Social Justice through Dance and Storytelling

Building on extensive experience developing works on issues of social justice, trauma, and identity, we invite dancers and/or community members to collaborate on developing movement sequences based on a social justice theme with sensitivity and awareness. We lead movement exercises working with participants to chart their own life experiences and connect to certain formative moments and develop choreographic ideas and movement from those moments. These can expand into group or solo choreographies and can either incorporate text or spoken narrative elements into the piece directly or explore ways for movement to carry the concepts uncovered together through the storytelling process. These workshops are especially powerful in specific communities touched by a particular issue or trauma. In the past we have brought this to the Dempsey Cancer Center, working with patients, family members, and friends on flocking, mirroring and self-empowerment text and movement compositions that culminated in a performance. With the support of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, we are also partnering with immigration activists on workshops allowing students to connect to their experiences with immigration in this country through movement and writing to create a multi-layered and inclusive group performance.

 

Improv to Performance

We love to work with different groups to build trust and community by improvising together and building an expressive work. We take participants through the process of exploring emotional states through the physical–how feelings are held, transmitted, exposed, buried, or projected. We research movement within each of these to embody different states fully. Rather than combining into set movements, we perform this work as a living state, honoring the diversity of bodily expression and empowering individuals to share their embodied truths.

 

Dance for Every Body

We lead modern jazz and hip-hop technique classes for any experience level with fun, lively music, incorporating the preferences of participants to inspire them in their movement. We include compositional and improvisational group exercises that foster team building, comfort, group sensitivity, and expanding confidence. BodyStories’ Teresa Fellion has extensive background in yoga, gyrotonics, and fitness that can be incorporated into fun movement sequences that explore the humor in the body and empowerment through physical strengthening and stretching together. Learned movement sequences explore different qualities of movement appropriate for diverse ages and experience levels. These have been successfully implemented with such communities as firefighters, recreational teen and adult dancers, corporate groups, seniors, youth, parents of public school students, and economically disadvantaged children in schools.

 

Comedy in Dance

With experience training and performing with Upright Citizens Brigade and improvisational comedy groups, BodyStories brings these techniques into dance to explore the humor in the human body. Participants navigate timing and reaction, investigating their own comedic instincts and combining verbal and nonverbal communication to channel elements of irony and surprise. Partnering and group exercises allow for dynamic improvisational warm ups and character development followed by guided reflection to analyze comedic sensibility and how the body and brain build humor together.  

Lectures & Artist Talks

We are always eager to share insights into our process and hear from members of the community about their own experiences, projects, and unique challenges and insights.

 

Performance Talks

Because of our focus on community and empowerment, talkbacks and Q&As before or after performances are always something we’re excited to offer to discuss process, concepts, and hear from audience members about their own reactions, reflections and experiences. These talks can target a particular issue dance-related or otherwise, or provide a more informal means to connect and inspire one another around the work of movement.

 

Artist Entrepreneurship Lectures

BodyStories’ Teresa Fellion founded BodyStories after working as an independent choreographer and has a great deal of insight about starting a dance company, various aspects of production, artistic collaboration, and sustainable business practices. These lectures or workshops can tackle the nuts and bolts of arts organizing, or they can target a particular element of running a dance company such as grant-writing, publicity, designing tours, structural organization or specific administrative processes to streamline and support art-making.