Susan Rene’e, Artistic Director
Dance is passion and life for Susan. Passion is seen in the way she carries out her empowering teaching and her life is driven, always, by creating new experiences for herself and those around her. She has studied, performed and taught dance professionally and moves lightly and elegantly even in her quiet moments between work and play.
From Susan’s early years of bouncing around the house to flying across a stage at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas and then further beyond as she extended her education at the University of Texas. She dove deeper and deeper with her own inspired directions influenced by the powers of Leon Danielian, Principal dancer with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Yacov Sharir of Sharir Dance Company, and Lynn Grossman of Ballet Austin. The wonderful Heywood “Woody” McGriff, of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Co, NYC, guided her towards many techniques she offers in a kind, nurturing, and empowering approach that undoubtedly helps others develop themselves into strong dancers. Susan’s skills were further fine tuned with the movement concepts of Rudolf Laban, Irmgard Bartinieff and Cecily Dell.
As Susan continues to explore and passionately rise up with the Dancing Tree, she brings new, fun and exciting opportunities for young and old and all in-between to share in this beauty. Even her recent Jingui Qi Gong training adds an eastern view on movement that helps her holistically approach each student within the context of their own needs and potentials.
–Russ C. Smith
(former Arts Commissioner of Austin, Texas)
Susan’s Philosophy – In her own words:
“As a teacher, I have seen many of my students come to know and value themselves through dance, much like I did as a child. My chief aim as dance artist and teacher is to bring the power of dance to a broad range of students with diverse backgrounds, needs and abilities. Dancing Tree was created to foster collaborative efforts with artists, teachers, agencies and schools in order to sustain and expand creative, innovative dance programming; to share the empowering effects of dance and movement; and to help professionals continue to grow as dance artists through study, choreography, performance and collaborations.”
Here is a brief overview of her Education and Experience:
- Originally from California, where she began dancing at age 4, Susan graduated from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas.
- Awarded scholarships to the University of Texas at Austin, she studied with dance legends Leon Danielian, Principal dancer with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Yacov Sharir of Sharir Dance Company, and Lynn Grossman of Ballet Austin.
- Her instinct for the best dance teachers called her back to U.T. in the 1990’s to study under Heywood “Woody” McGriff, of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Co, NYC, to learn to develop strong dancers with a kind, nurturing, and empowering approach. She studied, also in depth, the movement concepts of Rudolf Laban, Irmgard Bartinieff and Cecily Dell.
- Susan has designed and implemented Creative Dance programs at the Austin Conservatory of Dance, and at Samuels High School in Dallas, Texas where she taught deaf and multi-handicapped adolescents.
- Taught Royal Academy Ballet (French method), Modern, Creative Movement and Jazz for over 30 years
- Served on the Cultural Arts Commission for the Austin City Council, 1993-1995.
- Choreographed and performed with numerous troupes, including Austin City Ballet, En Avant Dance Theatre and Dance Repertory Theatre.
- Worked as a Motion Capture Actor for Alchemy Interactive/Locomotion Studios
- Owned and operated DanceScape Conservatory of Movement, Wimberley, Texas 1996-2006