Shannon Dooling-Cain was born in New Mexico, grew up dancing in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and moved to Arizona in 2016 after spending six years in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She has been fortunate to enjoy a multi-faceted career as a dance educator, choreographer, performer, advocate, and writer. Her background is in modern, ballet, improvisation, jazz, and jazz-derived forms including lyrical and contemporary. She holds an MFA in Dance from University of Maryland College Park and a BA in Dance from DeSales University in Pennsylvania.
Shannon has had the great joy of teaching students age 2-60, from absolute beginning through professional levels. She’s proudly served as faculty member and guest artist at universities, studios, K-12 schools, and community organizations, including University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Glendale Community College (AZ), Ballet Rincon, New Chicago Dance Studio, Repertory Ballet Academy, Dance Loft on 14, The Lowell School, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Totts Gap Arts Institute, the Arizona High School Dance Festival, the Maryland State High School Dance Festival, and the American College Dance Festival West. She’s served as an adjudicator at festivals and local dance conventions, including the Scottsdale Unified School District Dance Festival, Maryland State High School Dance Festival, and the Maricopa Community College Artist of Promise Competition.
Her choreography has been presented at Dance Place and The Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, Baltimore Theatre Project and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in Maryland, and The Phoenix Art Museum, DanceWest Festival, Tucson Museum of Art, and Tempe Center for the Arts in Arizona. For seven years, she co-directed New Street Dance Group, a collaborative modern dance company in Philadelphia, and went on to co-found NACHMO/D.C., a hub of the National Choreography Month initiative, with Glade Dance Collective. In 2021, she rekindled a lifelong love of musical theatre by serving as choreographer for West Side Story with Arts Express in Tucson. In 2022, she will return to Arts Express to choreograph Oliver! and Titanic. As a dancer, Shannon has had the pleasure of working with Vada Dance Collective, EDP dance project, Annex Dance, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Repertory Dance Theatre (PA), and Movement Source Dance Company.
For almost a decade, Shannon has worked with the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), where she has been involved in research, advocacy, and program administration. She served as the Director of the National Honor Society of Dance Arts for 2 years, and is now Special Projects Coordinator. A lifelong writer, Shannon’s work has been published by the NDEO, in the U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education newsletter, and on many dance and education blogs. She’s had the privilege of presenting at the NDEO’s National Conference, and was scheduled to be a Core Teacher at the Dance and the Child International (daCi) National Gathering, which has been postponed due to Covid-19. She has been involved in administration and marketing at several dance studios. On her blog, Shannon 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.