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 Dance Artist, Educator, and Advocate, who has enjoyed working in many branches of the dance field. She has taught at universities, studios, K-12 schools, and community organizations, both as faculty member and guest teacher. 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, fundraising, and writing projects. Since moving to Arizona in summer 2016, she has worked as teaching artist for Dance at Core (a project of the Arizona Dance Education Organization), a faculty member at Arizona Dance Artistry, a guest teacher for local studios and colleges, and an adjudicator at the K-12 and university levels.
As a dancer/choreographer/director, Shannon is interested in collaborative, interdisciplinary work; story-telling in words, movement, design, and multimedia; and rigorous, technical dancing fusing ballet, modern, and contemporary dance. She is committed to making accessible, engaging work for a variety of audiences, most especially those who would not normally seek out concert dance.
As a dance educator, Shannon enjoys working with novice and professional students alike. One of her greatest joys is introducing new students to the art of dance through community workshops, dance appreciation courses, and beginner studio classes. She has extensive experience teaching in higher education, private studios, K-12 schools, and outreach programs. Her critical eye, articulate feedback, and student-centered approach make her an effective coach and adjudicator. She has been an adjudicator for the Baltimore County Public Schools Dance Festival, The Scottsdale Unified School District Dance Festival, and the Artist of Promise Competition for Maricopa Community College District.
Shannon’s approach to both art making 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.
A lifelong writer, Shannon co-authored “Evidence: A Report on the Impact of Dance in the K-12 Setting” with Karen Bradley, MA, and Jane Bonbright, PhD. The paper looks at the available evidence of the benefits of dance education in the K-12 school setting, and was published by the National Dance Education Organization under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the frequent co-author of the “NDEO Reports” column for the Journal of Dance Education and “NDEO Works” column for Dance Education in Practice, and contributes to NDEO’s “Behind the Curtain Blog”. Her work was published in the January 2017 edition of the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education newsletter.
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, and Repertory Dance Theatre (PA). 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, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD), as well as local studios, churches, and community centers. She is active as a guest teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator for universities and studios.
Shannon also dabbles in theatre, creative writing, 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. She shares her home with her husband and an adorable grey and white cat, affectionately known as Bingy.
References and complete CV are available upon request.
Top gallery, photos by Zebra Visual / Bottom gallery, photos by Eric Bandiero