Shannon Dooling-Cain was born in New Mexico, spent much of her life dancing in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and now calls Arizona home after six years in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Shannon is a freelance dance educator, choreographer, consultant, and writer, based in Tucson, AZ but with roots in the Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Phoenix metro areas. She has taught at universities, studios, K-12 schools, and community organizations. She was the founder and co-director of New Street Dance Group, a modern dance collective active in the Philadelphia and D.C. area, and co-organizer of NACHMO/Baltimore-DC, a regional chapter of the National Choreography Month initiative. Shannon is Special Projects Coordinator for the National Dance Education Organization, where she is involved in research, advocacy, and writing projects. Since moving to Arizona in summer 2016, she has worked as teaching artist for the Arizona Dance Education Organization, a choreographer for Movement Source Dance Company, a teacher for local studios and colleges, and an adjudicator at the K-12 and university levels. She is on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Dance Coalition.
Shannon’s approach to choreography and dance education is holistic, taking into account the physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of each dancer and working to empower them to become healthy, motivated, and engaged individuals in addition to strong technicians, powerful performers, skilled researchers, risk-taking artists, and articulate advocates.
Shannon holds an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from Desales University in Center Valley, PA. As a freelance dancer, she has worked with Vada Dance Collective, EDP dance project, Annex Dance, Tzevta Kassobova, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Repertory Dance Theatre (PA), and Movement Source Dance Company. She has collaborated with musicians and composers, including Alexandra T Bryant, Tomek Regulski, Geoff Sheil, Jonathan Cain, rogue collective, and The Radical Sound. Her choreography has been seen at Dance Place (Washington, DC), The Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival (Washington, DC), Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, Touchstone Theatre (Bethlehem, PA), Baltimore Theatre Project, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD), and The Phoenix Art Museum, and Tempe Center for the Arts, as well as local studios, churches, and community centers. Her writing has been published by the National Dance Education Organization, in the U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education newsletter, and in Dance Education in Practice and Journal of Dance Education. She is active as a guest teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator for universities and studios.
On her blog, Shannon regularly features dance teaching tools, curriculum and lesson ideas, commentaries on dance education, choreography, and arts and society, personal narratives about the intersection of feminism and the arts, and monthly inspirational takeaways.
Shannon also dabbles in theatre, creative writing, gardening, and women’s studies. She is a coffee fiend, a baseball enthusiast, and a Tina Fey fan, and loves spending time at the New Jersey shore.
References and complete CV are available upon request.
Top gallery, photos by Zebra Visual / Bottom gallery, photos by Eric Bandiero