I began practicing Chinese Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Ba Gua Zhang in high school, training in North Carolina, Taipei, and in mainland China. In 2013, I started to study with dance artists teaching at the American Dance Festival. My choreography investigates how approaches to improvisation such as Gaga, Contact Improvisation, and William Forsythe's Improvisation Technologies can push traditional martial arts technique into the realm of contemporary dance. In 2017, I completed an MFA in Dance at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and have since presented choreography at Goodyear Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina, at performance festivals hosted by the Black Mountain College Museum, at the Asheville Fringe Festival, the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Midwest Alternative Dance Festival, and the Richmond Dance Festival.
Site Photography: Aspen Hochhalter, Taylor Skala
I studied West-African drumming, jazz drums, and mallet percussion while pursuing collegiate and graduate degrees in philosophy. In 2012, I began composing music for dance and accompanying dance classes at the American Dance Festival and later at the Charlotte Ballet and the University of North Carolina (Charlotte).
As an undergraduate at Winthrop University,
I studied philosophy and psychology and went on to receive a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2005, writing my dissertation on the intersection of philosophy of embodiment and John Dewey's philosophy of art. In 2007, I began teaching full-time at Queens University of Charlotte and have taught classes in Philosophy of Art, Environmental Aesthetics, Philosophy Through Film,
Philosophy of Embodiment, Chinese Philosophy, Eastern and Western approaches to Mindfulness, and Political Art.
My current academic work focuses on the intertwining of theory and practice; the ethics and effectiveness of political concert dance, ecstatic states that arise in the rituals of Appalachian charismatic Pentecostalism, and the relationship between Pragmatist philosophy, embodiment, and interdisciplinary performance research.