Jen Graham is a dance artist, movement analyst, and educator with a commitment to creating inclusive spaces through innovative and sometimes unconventional approaches. Believing that movement experience and conscious embodiment is the key to developing a strong sense of personal identity and connection, she encourages experimentation, investigation, and collaboration to cultivate artistic and theoretical depth. Her dances play in the space that lives between narrative and abstraction – deeply rooted in the intersection of Improvisational, Modern, and Rhythm Jazz Dance Techniques, guided by the clarity and sensibility of the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System – stirring the inner impulses of the human experience.
Jen holds both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Choreography and Performance from the University of Maryland, as well as her Certification as a Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in Brooklyn, NY. She is also the Founding Director of Project C Studios, a private dance school and performance space located in Westminster, MD serving the preK-12, higher education, and professional dance communities. Jen has lectured, taught, presented work, and performed extensively along the east coast for over 15 years; including concert, commercial, and theatrical work for regional festivals, area high schools, private dance studios, community theatre groups, higher educational institutions such as the American College Dance Association, Carroll and Howard Community Colleges, the University of Maryland, Skidmore College, and the State University of New York New Paltz, and other professional arenas such as MetLife Stadium, the New 42ndStreet Studios in Manhattan, NY, The Harvey School in Katonah, NY, Joe’s Movement Emporium and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC among others. Furthermore, on the competitive circuit, Jen’s choreography and coaching has won numerous awards and special accolades, as well as earning her dancers title recognitions. Jen’s preprofessional students have gone on to attend prestigious programs such as those at New York University’s Tisch School, Marymount Manhattan College, and University of the Arts, to name a few, and continue to forge successful professional careers within the field.
In addition to her work as a teaching artist, Jen also works privately with clients in the areas of somatic movement repatterning and performance coaching for both functional and expressive movement, as well as offering leadership and communication training for youth, post graduate, and corporate groups. Most recently she partnered with the Neuro and Cognitive Science Department at the University of Maryland to create the DeLeComm (Developing Leadership Communication) Program for Graduate and PhD Students entering the workforce. Jen has also served in notable positions on the boards of the Maryland Council for Dance and Capitol Region Educators of Dance Organization, as well as within the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies. She actively continues to share her philosophy and artistic perspective independently and in public and private institutions, schools, and arts organizations as a body-worker, choreographer, guest artist, lecturer, and presenter.
Jen’s Teaching Philosophy | My role as a movement educator is not only to train fully integrated, agile bodies and minds, but also to facilitate the discovery and development of each student’s creative voice and personal process. Dance and movement practice cultivates knowledge not only of the body, but also within the body and from the body. As such, I provide a supportive environment in which I encourage the pursuit of curiosity, experimentation, and collaboration to promote self-directed learning, risk-taking, and synthesis. Grounding students in historical and cultural frameworks, I reinforce technical theory and physical application as a means of mastery and a process through which creation occurs – both by working within structure as well as testing and breaking structure. Students are thereby empowered through personal agency and choice – manifesting identity and the tools for adaptation, resilience, and growth.