Ann Law is a certified Kinetic Awareness® teacher and
practitioner of over 20 years.
She is also a certified Pilates Instructor, dance
improvisor, dance educator, and art activist in
her community of Chattanooga, Tennessee. As an
active dance participant, the somatic practice of
the heart of her daily dancing, teaching and
creative makings. This empowering and enhancing
somatic form places her inside so to continue the
conversation of what is dance and how do we make
dances. She is the founder and artistic
director of CoPAC
(Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga) at Barking Legs Theater
where she also teaches and directs the dance
program at Chattanooga State Community
College. Her BA in Dance is from Mills
College and MA in Dance Education from University
of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been
honored with the Tennessee Association of Dance
Outstanding Dance Educator Award and has received
numerous grants for her collaborative projects.
Beginning, Ending and
Inbetween a Landscape of Bones Resting
(written for a Pecha Kucha talk in Chattanooga, TN October
My focus is to stay strong, flexible, and
balanced. I am releasing, unwinding, and giving up, allowing the
floor to support me. I am a dancer. That title, for me encompasses my work as a performer,
choreographer, educator (teacher), and arts activist. They all happen simultaneously. The older I get,
I realize that life is just one big never-ending dance.
No matter if I am teaching adults Pilates or Kinetic Awareness® or
kids creative dance or college students the art of dance, my goal is
to bring the inner and outer worlds together, connecting body and
mind. Unraveling to learn, how to move from the inside out and bring
both worlds together in harmony for a full conversation. I find the
importance of listening so that your body can become your teacher.
Breathing becomes an internal way of massaging to encourage spinal
articulation and extension into connecting all possibilities. My
body informs me that limbs are only a reflection of the spine. And
here, I find myself in time and space.
The dance is unfolding, moving in and out of space, time and weight.
Expression, thought, body and mind connections work in unison when
listening and being mindful. It is here that movement becomes
dance. It is here that my practice of Kinetic Awareness®
constantly informs and encourages me.
I grew up near Los Angeles and learned to listen to my body in motion from a
tap dancer. I love making connections with others, sharing new
ways to eliminate physical discomfort and distractions so to find home
inside the body. Through a smorgasbord of dancing, from jazz to
tap, from ballet to modern, from LA to San Francisco, Miami, NYC and finally
here, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I no longer teach dance steps but find home
in this incredible art form of dance through the conversation of
As I grow and mature, I find my dancing to be more and more capable of
communicating with others. As my body expands, I learn how important
communication is in all aspects of dance, and in all aspects of
Through my practice of Kinetic Awareness®, I keep my body strong,
flexible and balanced. This practice constantly enhances my art
form as I develop an independent voice. In fact, Kinetic
all my investigations as a mover, educator, and creator of dances.
Learning from my body, I understand the importance of letting go of
selfishness, and of judgment. Can I teach how to pause, listen, and
understand that you are truly your own teacher? If I do not practice
these things, then how can I teach them? With no more memorized
steps, no more set exercises, no more pre-arranged orders, can I, like
Kinetic Awareness, continue to open the door to new discoveries, invite
change, and embrace transformation? After years of learning by rote and by imitation, I
begin, with my eyes closed, so that dance can continue to inform me of
myself, of others, and of its place in the world. This helps me find my
pulse, my own internal rhythm and places me right here as I try hard to
be wide awake.
Taking away what I always thought was dance, what I was always told was
dance brings encounters of surprise, change, and unpredictability.
Those that chose to study with me step into this territory as well.
Palms facing the heavens and feet stepping gently into the unknown we
begin to discover who we are. This means leaving no trace.
This means never being the teacher, the performer, the dancer. My
work, slowly through all these years of dedication and discipline, becomes
the dance of life.
So what is it that I do? I try to live, teach and perform in a
mindful, thoughtful, caring way.
Take away the effort, eliminate all that is unnecessary and I find that I
am practicing mindfulness. But do I stumble? Constantly
stumbling, I actually find that being balanced means to be out of balance,
being a good dancer means not being a good dancer. In the process, I
find that my students become empowered and begin developing very strong
voices for a more meaningful conversation. Kinetic Awareness® is a
key to turning all of this on, about being the dance, the embodiment of
For her graduation, Ann Law created special rubber-balls which are highly
useful for the practice of Kinetic Awareness®
She demonstrates them in the video above, with live-guidance from Elaine Summers.
(recorded at 537 Broadway, New York City, July 2011) annlawdancing(at)gmail.com