What Moves You? @ Kelly Johnson

When you feel what they feel, when you hear what they hear, when you know they are IN it like you would be – that’s one of the best connections that dance can share. I felt that when I worked with Kelly. I connected with how and why she moves, and how her love for the choreographic process was just as important (or more important!) then the finished product. So, I had to pick her brain and get her involved in the “What Moves You” project…

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Kelly Johnson: Dance Professor/Choreographer/Performer
Geneva, New York

What moves you?

The woods move me. Crunchy leaves and geese honking overhead move me. I like patterns and formations in nature. I like trees, all kinds.

Dogs are my favorite animal. The end.

The Caribbean moves me. The waves, the mountains and the candles move me. The skirts, the bell and the eyes confidently downward move me.

I like to vibe and bounce. Flow is important to me and I love a ball-change.

Coolness too.

Meeting new people moves me.

Moving WITH people moves me. Shared sweat is a powerful thing and making work that speaks of shared experiences, ones that might motivate and inspire change moves me.

Teaching moves me. Moments of student growth and change, moments of shell breaking move me.

And my first love MUSIC, she moves me.  The background to my entire life (thanks to my parents) meant that the house was never silent. As you can imagine, this resulted in some sweet kitchen dancing and cartwheels in the living room.

Music moves me first. My working list of songs I “need” to make something to is now years long and I am an active choreographer!

Causes or choreographic intent come next. I am almost always motivated by what I hear first.

I feel my strongest self when sharing on stage.

Fun fact? I can’t whistle.


Kelly Johnson is a dance educator, choreographer, performer and lover of nature whose education is a collective of African, Caribbean and Modern dance. She holds an MFA in Choreography from The College at Brockport and continues to conduct field research in Kingston, Jamaica, while studying at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY where she has designed technique courses in West African, Jamaican and Modern dance along with courses centered in Choreography and Performance. Her choreography has been featured at Cornell , Hofstra (ACDA)and Tulane Universities (Urban Bush Woman), The University of Rochester, The College at Brockport, Rochester’s School of the Arts, Rochester Fringe Festival, Rochester’s Caribbean Festival and throughout NY’s Fingerlakes Region. She continues to collaborate with local artists Alaina and Mark Olivieri, presenting choreography in both the Vision of Sound as well 2015 National Flute Convention. In addition, she has performed with Rochester based company KDiehl Danceworks under the direction of Kathy Diehl. This fall, Johnson collaborated with Rochester’s BIODANCE, under the direction of Missy Pfohl Smith, as the company produced BIO/DANCE & Social Justice Series, performing and sharing with members of Rochester’s local communities. Kelly continues to be inspired by people’s lived experiences and is invested in sharing personal narratives on stage, all with the intention of initiating social consciousness and simultaneous awareness of the “self” and “others”.

Friend Kelly on Facebook or email her at kjohnson@hws.edu.

What Moves You? @ Jadi Carboni

Happy Holidays! I have a special edition of the blog today because the feature this week is on someone I haven’t seen personally or known very much about, so it’s an extra treat (especially for me). I was researching the “dance scene” in Rome, Italy and her name kept popping up. So, following the signs, I decided to take a deeper look online. Right away I was drawn to Jadi’s energy and love for movement in all mediums. Her work and experience speaks for itself. She is a worldly performer and creator and I look forward to meeting her soon. Thanks for being a part of the blog Jadi!


Jadi Carboni: Performer and Creator
Berlin, Germany

What moves you?

“My breathing arise my movement, I follow the rhythm of my heart.
Smelling, touching, hearing, I dance through each moment of my life.
Every taste, look, dream that truly vibrates in my heart, is the flame.
The fire which transforms and guides my skin, my soul.”


In 2001, Jadi graduated from the National Dance Academy in Rome and won a school-scholarship at the Venice Biennale, under the direction of Carolyn Carlson. At the end of 2003, she moved to Amsterdam, to study at the School for New Dance Development. For four years she traveled between Scotland, USA, Holland and England, to then come back in 2009 to Berlin. Since 2002 she has been working with several dance companies such as Danza Ricerca, the Scottish National Theater, Sense Labor Theater Company, Dalma primordial Science, Sasha Waltz and Guests, Anu Theater, and Feeding the fish- juggling- dance company.

Since 2012, she performed in different production of the Staats Oper and Sasha Waltz. In summer 2013, Jadi received the El Ray Award as Best Leading Actress at the Barcelona Film festival- with the move Is that the question ? – by Johanna Rousset. In October 2015 she achieved the Certificate of Professional Yoga Teacher at Sivasoorya Ashram – in Kerala India.

In her work, Jadi likes to integrate somatic and physical disciplines, with sound and voice experimentation, through improvisation practices. Currently, Jadi is working on her own project called Complementary Device, which contains a series of performances and texts, inspired by the anatomy of the body and the complementary/opposite nature of the forces/energies ruling our existences.

More info on Jadi here!

What Moves You? @ Kelly Wadlegger

One of the few reasons why I am where I am is because of my first dance teacher. At sixteen years old, I moved overseas to attend the International School of Bangkok, Thailand (ISB) where I was able to enroll in dance courses until I graduated high-school. I had taken a few classes here and there and knew movement was something I loved, but being able to enroll in a full time program was a true blessing. And it was a such an important part of my life because of my teacher, Kelly Wadlegger. She was the first person to encourage my dancing, to allow me to see how I danced from my soul, and to help develop both internal as well as external expression. Teachers are a gift, and she has been a true light in my life. So, of course I had to see what is currently moving her…

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Kelly Wadlegger: Performing Artist, Teacher, and Choreographer
Honolulu, Hawaii

What moves you?

Life moves me and through me. I am affected by everything. Sometimes it is a curse and other times a blessing.

I am a dancer and I make dances about many things. I enjoy investigating cultures through physical embodiment. I made a solo based on gestures from Thailand and Hawaii where I have lived and that became a group memorial dance for the 2004 tsunami. The dance is loaded with meaning and metaphors and every time I teach it or perform Ocean Voyage it creates a very emotional and visceral response. Close teacher friends lost their twins in the tragedy and this dance has been internally my offering to them and others who suffered. I cannot forget.

I believe in dance as a healing art. Leading dancers through authentic experiences is transformational and it is a privilege to witness this.

Music moves me to dance as well. Last year I listened to the lyrics of one billion rising and was inspired to create a dance that evoked strength, and the spirit to survive and change. I had heard of so many stories of abuse and femicide and I made a trilogy of dances in response. Break the Chain was one of them.

I love creating with the beautiful souls I have gotten to work with, friends whose range of movement styles and experiences make me want to bring them together and integrate their bodily intelligences. Before I moved to China in 2012 I made a trio in collaboration with two dear colleagues of mine: Karuna Richards a gorgeous earthy Swiss modern dancer and Annie Lokomaikai’i Lipscomb a very talented Hula dancer and Hawaiian cultural specialist. I blended my experiences in Hawaiian culture, modern dance and Chinese martial arts as a way to prepare myself for Bridging Waters from Honolulu to Beijing.

As a choreographer I shift between structuralist approaches and feeling and theatricality. I challenged myself to tackle the compositional structure and dissonance of Stravinskys Rite of Spring and was very pleased to accomplish this and even be compared to Mark Morris in a review of my piece!

Recently I am moved by world events particularly the refugee and gun situation in America. When I lay in bed I am having visions of a new evening of work motivated by my experiences as an American but also as a global citizen of the world.

It is my duty to keep dancing and making and performing dances that make people feel, cry, laugh, question and connect in the moment. No other arts are as visceral and kinesthetic as dance.


Check out more about Kelly here and here!

What Moves You? @ Mark Schmidt

Mark and I met at University several years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch and worked together several times since. He is a soul dancer – he was born to dance. Each movement he dances is completely his own. It just pours out of him. Everything about him screams movement, and art, and love and beautiful understanding. I personally admire the ownership over his artistry and I’ve been blessed to call him my friend, teacher, and fellow artist. Naturally, I had to find out what moves him…


Mark Schmidt: Performer and Choreographer
New York, NY

What moves you?
The need to feel vitality, moving dynamically through space-laterally, vertically, in and out of the floor and in the air.
The memory of communal learning experience through dance class with my fellow contemporary dancers in New York.
The need to create in the form of movement improvisation.
My intellectual interest in movement and the body in relationship to itself, others, and space.
Partnering. I love Partnering.  I am addicted to the complex interplay between trust, potential danger, physics, the unknown and sensing.


Mark Schmidt is a performer, choreographer and model living in Brooklyn, NY. He regularly collaborates with artists working in film animation, sound, set and fashion design.  He holds a BA in Cultural Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York and MFA in Performance and Choreography from the State University of New York College at Brockport.  As a choreographer, Mark has produced work for performances at Detroit Contemporary and ArtLabJ in Detroit, and Dixon Theater, Gotham Hall, Chen Dance Center and Triskelion Arts in New York.  In addition to his life in the contemporary dance world, he has appeared in multiple videos for music and fashion by model photographer/film director Rie Rasmussen.  When not performing, Mark can occasionally be found working as a production assistant for art director Reynaldo Davis Carter.  This includes sets for fashion publications Vs. Magazine, Italian Vogue, L’Officiel, and photographer/director Ellen VonUnwerth.



What Moves You @ Amira Collective

Tastemakers are rare. They influence the world, and hold a power that few have and know how to utilize. But what influences and moves them? I believe Romina Keilhofer, the mastermind behind Amira Collective, is a true tastemaker. Her keen eye for detail, quality, style, emerging talent, and her ability to create good vibes anywhere she goes is practically tangible. I’ve known her for the past several years and consider her one of my closest friends and inspirations. Since I’ve been staying with her in and out of Berlin for the last few weeks I had to ask her to be a part of our What Moves You project!

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Romina: Artist Representative and Director of Amira Collective
Berlin, Germany

What moves you?
New York City moves me. I love the way the people create such colorful lives. The magic of all the different cultures make this place very unique.
Romina works as an artist representative and recently created Amira Collective to promote connections and events for artists. She has worked with companies like Joe by Joe, Cisionaire, SoHa Dance, and more. Based in New York and Berlin, Romina is taking Amira Collective to the global scale by connecting artists and art-lovers around the world. Find out more by following Amira Collective’s Instagram and Twitter.

What Moves You? @ Odilia Egyiawan

You know those moments when you see a performer and you just want to be with them, in their body, to feel what they feel? There is an underrated amount of power in these people and those moments. When I saw Odilia Egyiawan dancing in Of Riders and Running Horses during the Dance Umbrella Festival in London, I had one of those experiences. Her stage presence, musicality, and ability to give herself up to the space without losing herself was truly beautiful and empowering. Lucky for me I was able to chat with Odilia about her incredible performance and ask what moves her…


Odilia Egyiawan: Performer
London, UK

What moves you?
The emotional connection of my present self in correlation with music.

Odilia is known for her alternative Hip Hop style and in 2011 became the UK winner of SDK (Europe’s biggest Street Dance competition) and represented the UK in Chez Republic. She has performed with the top street dance companies including Zoonation ‘Into The Hoods’, Boy Blue Entertainment, D-Clash all female freestyle group form by Nike and was associate director for Avant Garde. Odilia has also danced for artists like Beyonce, Usher, Rita Ora, Cheryl Cole, Major Lazor, LaToya Jackson and The Brit Awards, MOBO Awards, London 2012 Olympics, The Royal Variety Show and many more. Follow Odilia on Instagram and Twitter!

What Moves You? @ Dan Canham

I had the pleasure of seeing Of Riders and Running Horses while I was in London during the Dance Umbrella Festival. I was truly blown away and very inspired by the concept and dancers. Performed on an open rooftop of a parking garage with live music and five female dancers, the performance revealed fresh rhythmic moves that flowed through dynamic group patterns in combination with freeing solo moments. For me, it was an accumulation of a lot of things I’m trying to work on as a choreographer and director: live music; fusing modern, folk/traditional, and urban styles; and audience participation. Luckily I was able talk with Dan Canham, the mastermind behind the production, and get him involved in our “What Moves You” project…

Image: Camilla Cerea

Dan Canham: Performance Maker
London, UK

What Moves You?
That which I cannot express in words. The animal in me. The joy, the anger, the erotic bit of me, the sorrowful bit, that which knows what it is to love and to have lost love. Rhythm and melody.


Dan Canham works as a contemporary performance maker. Central to his work lies an exploration that puts those performing and the felt experience of real human stories at its heart. Dan has previously worked as a performer for Kneehigh Theatre, DV8 Physical Theatre, Punchdrunk & Fabulous Beast among other companies. He draws a lot of inspiration from work outside of the UK and is open to collaborative possibilities within the UK and beyond. Find more info on Dan and the show here.

Photos from Of Riders and Running Horses: