Susan has an MA in Dance, is a Certified Movement Analyst through the Laban-Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City, and a Language of Dance® Certification Specialist.
Susan retired from the UW-Stevens Point department of Theatre and Dance in 2006 after developing the dance major (1978) and serving as program coordinator from 1983 to 2006. She focused her 32-year career at UWSP on building relationships among disciplines and developing student-centered dance education for which she received the Dance Educator of the Year (2006) award from the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
She was instrumental in gaining accreditation in the 1980's for both the dance and theatre programs through the National Association of Schools of Dance (1985) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre. She devised and nurtured the Afterimages concert for student choreographers and designers (1986), the program's involvement in the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) regional events (1984), and the department's involvement in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Susan sponsored successful student research for presentation from both theatre and dance for two years at NCUR. In the Fall of 2005, she sponsored three dance students in the presentation of their research at the National Dance Education Organization Conference.
Susan's inventive and rigorous choreography, most of which she has created for her UWSP students, has pushed her into diverse territories, including creating works based on the oral histories of Stevens Point's men and women, using rappelling to capture the tragic loss of one's life's work, creating text to heighten and theatricalize life's ordinary events, commissioning original music, and devising full length works based on her Motif Notated class compositions.
Susan has received nationwide recognition for her development of assessment-based teaching of technique using the Language of Dance® and Movement Theory and Analysis. While at UWSP, she built her classes around specific Movement Alphabet concepts, which develops a solid grounding to embody the movement vocabulary. She interweaves somatic principles, as well as those of Laban Movement Analysis (body, effort, space, shape) into the Movement Alphabet concepts throughout the entire class. Research she has conducted on this teaching methodology show students learn more thoroughly and are able to embody the material more quickly. She has presented this research at the National Dance Education Organization, the Carnegie Colloquium, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the International Council of Kinetography Laban (ICKL).
At UWSP she taught modern technique, dance history, and movement theory and analysis, teaching methods and improvisation. From 2000-2006 she co-administrated a $167,000 UW System K-16 technology grant CELT (Center for the Expansion of Teaching and Learning) and a $500,000 Congressional Award, FACETS (Faculty Alliance for Creating and Expanding Teaching Strategies) with Dr. Leslie Wilson, Professor Emeritus from the School of Education.
Since retirement, she has taken a more active involvement in national and international dance organizations. She serves the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) as the Director of Resources Review and as the co-chair of the Applied Strategic Plan. She completed a four-year term as Treasurer of the International Council of Kinetography Laban. She is Associate Editor of two journals: NDEO's in practice journal, Dance Education in Practice and Journal of Movement Arts Literacy. As Associate Director of the Language of Dance Center USA, Susan organizes and teaches workshops, Foundations and Certification courses for dance and arts educators around the country and at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y, Harkness Dance Center in New York City, The University of Texas at Austin, Loyola Marymount University at Los Angeles, and the University of South Carolina at Columbia.
In 2014, Susan endowed a scholarship through COFAC, the Gingrasso Dance Education Scholarship Award, to send a Junior Dance major to the Dance Education Laboratory Summer Institute held at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center in New York City every summer. The scholarship pays for the tuition for the 3.5 weeks of courses and round trip airfare.
Contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.