Rachel A. Dodson, M.F.A.
Rachel Dodson M.F.A.
Affiliate Faculty, Director Festival Dance Academy, Dance
- M.F.A. Dance, emphasis: Somatic Movement/The Alexander Technique, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
- Certification in Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
- Certification in College Teaching, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
- Certification in Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
- Certification in Safety and Health in Dance Practices, Safety in Dance International, 2014
- B.F.A. Dance, emphasis: Choreography, University of California Irvine, 2007
- Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant, award to fund creative research, University of Colorado Boulder, 2016
- ACE Program Grant, Theatre and Dance Department of University of Colorado Boulder, 2016
- Program Fee Grant, Theatre and Dance Department of University of Colorado Boulder, 2016
- United Government of Graduate Student Grant, award to fund travel for presentation of original scholarly research at international conference, University of Colorado Boulder, 2015
- Graduate Student Travel Grant, award to fund travel for presentation of original scholarly research at international conference, University of Colorado Boulder, 2015
- ACE Program Grant, Theatre and Dance Department of University of Colorado Boulder, 2015
- Program Fee Grant, Theatre and Dance Department of University of Colorado Boulder, 2015
Dodson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance, emphasis in Somatic Movement "The Alexander Technique", from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she also received certifications in "Women and Gender Studies", "College Teaching", and "Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom". While Boulder afforded her the opportunity to hone research interests, pedagogy, and personal artistry, it was at the University of California Irvine that she she finessed a strong technical foundation in a rigorous conservatory environment. While deepening her choreographic experience and broadening her technical knowledge base, Dodson completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Irvine, with an emphasis in Choreography. In 2014, Rachel was selected as one of a handful of instructors in the United States to be certified by Safety in Dance International in "Safety and Health in Dance Practices".
Between degrees, Dodson spent several years as a resident of Israel, immersing herself in the culture and dance community while learning firsthand about contemporary and historical conflict. She taught classical ballet at several private establishments in, and around, Tel Aviv, while participating in contemporary dance classes taught by Ohad Naharin and Bat Sheva dancers. This introduction to the language of Gaga was paramount in her artistic development and pedagogical interest in somatic movement and the sensory experience of both performers and viewers. It has since become a dominant influence in her creative research and choreographic craft.
Dodson's studio classes are designed to increase channels of fluidity and communication within the body, improve control, establish and build upon efficient alignment by incorporating principles and practices of The Alexander Technique, and creating a safe vessel for students to explore movement. Lessons are crafted and delivered through an anatomical lens, aimed at helping students access and integrate the whole self with decreased limitation and increased movement potential. Four years of extended study integrating The Alexander Technique into dance instruction anchors her classes in a way that is unique to her practice. She believes in the power of building a positive, task-based environment to support a student-centered learning through community and individualized experience. Dodson greatly values supporting students in their academic and creative research, and has a unique ability to foster a healthy and positive space for students to feel safe during their journey through the world of dance education.
Rachel has been dancing for and performing as a soloist, duet, and corps dancer with numerous companies as both a permanent and guest artist for over 20 years. Her choreography has been commissioned and featured nationally and internationally since 2000, and has been featured in Kyriat Ono and Herzliya Pituach, Israel, Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Paonia, and Lafayette, Colorado, and Templeton, Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Irvine, and Santa Cruz, California. Her original research critically examining body image, media, and American visual culture has been welcomed and presented at regional and international conferences. She was the recipient of the 2016 Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant, and 2015 recipient of the United Government of Graduate Student Grant and Graduate Student Travel Grants, all of which funded personal creative and scholarly research. She was also the recipient of in-department grant funding to host Guest Artists for the enrichment of student programming, as well as the purchasing of state of the art department camera equipment through the ACE and Program Fee Grants in 2015 and 2016. In 2018, Dodson curated and produced the inaugural year of "inHabit - A Festival of Dance for Camera, 2018".
- Application of Somatic Modalities to DanceTraining
- The Alexander Technique
- Dance Pedagogy
- Dance Composition
- Dance for Camera
- Classical Ballet
- Improvisation through Anatomy
- Critical analysis of culture at the intersections of dance, history, race, class, and gender
- Social activism through creative and scholarly research and practice
- Dance Wellness and sustainable movement practices
- Sensorial choreography and performance