Rae Ballard

category: Dance,

Contact & Info

  • reballard1@msn.com

Artist Statement

Rae Ballard is a choreographer. She trains modern dancers in her company while also teaching movement to children and adults throughout Westchester.

Educational Background

St. Lawrence University, BA in English/Theater. State University of New York at Albany, MA in Theater.

Teaching Artist Experience

Dance and creative movement connect the body and mind, effectively engaging the student and developing an increased focus on learning.  The body stores mental and emotional problems in the form of muscular tension and constrained movement patterns which can affect learning negatively.  Moving rhythmically eases muscular rigidity, diminishes anxiety, and increases energy.  Moving creatively encourages self-expression and opens up new ways of thinking and doing. Through ArtsWestchester, I have taught creative movement residencies at The Cornerstone Therapeutic Preschool Program in Peekskill, as well as at a New Rochelle elementary school and a drop-in facility in Ossining for adults with mental illness.  I am currently on faculty at ArtsCaravan in Katonah teaching modern dance.  In addition, I continue to teach international dances to elementary school students and perform an original program, Dances Around the World, at venues that include public schools, local libraries, and senior citizens centers.  As an artist, ArtsWestchester invited my dance company, Thoughts in Motion Dance, to premiere "Visions of Vincent" at the inaugural season of the Arts Exchange Performing Space.  "A Long Road Home," a dancer/theater piece about returning Iraq war veterans received an Arts Alive Grant from Arts Westchester.  Drawing on this extensive experience in choreography, which The New York Times described as having "the quality of a short story," I helped students and adults learn to work with their bodies and develop their ability to express thoughts and emotions through movement.  My belief in the ability of each individual to find movement meaningful and enjoyable has resulted in a wide range of successful experiences, from helping preschoolers engage in creative play to teaching third graders the Japanese Bon dance and showing wheelchair-bound patients how to move to music while sitting.