Guest Artists

Summer I Intensive, 2020

Matthew Cumbie, Guest Artist
Photo by Ben Carver

 “I make dances to reawaken a sense of vitality and ferocious curiosity about ourselves and the world around us. I believe dancemaking is a powerful and necessary form of inquiry and exploration, and that our dancing creates opportunities to see and feel more acutely.” — Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (he/him/his) is a collaborative dancemaker and artist educator living in Washington, DC. His artistic research cultivates processes and experiences that are participatory and intergenerational, moving through known and unknown, and bring a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience. 

An organizing principle of Matthew’s work is a commitment to centering LGBTQ+ artists and experiences, and collaborating across disciplines to expand the social relevance of his work and to broaden the notion that every body can dance. His choreography and dancemaking- considered “a blend of risk-taking with reliability, [and] a combination of uncertainty and wisdom,” by Kate Mattingly- weaves together a physical vocabulary of momentum and clarity, revelatory moments, and a belief in a body’s capacity to document and reflect back our lived experiences. He is the Founder of Matthew Cumbie Projects, the central body to further and support the work of Matthew and his collaborators. 

In 2016 he began Growing Our Own Gardens, a multiyear performance project to contend with a growing need for intergenerational LGBTQ+ dialogue. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arcus Foundation and Dance Exchange, Gardens blossomed into an iterative process that partners with LGBTQ+ and arts organizations in multiple cities to use performance and engagement as a platform to surface stories, struggles, and possibilities of queer communities: to reflect and re-imagine LGBTQ+ life in our communities and country. Through Gardens, he has partnered- and continues to partner- with the Rainbow History Project, the DC Center, the Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County, and the Dallas Way- creating short form and evening-length performances, facilitating workshops and discussions, and leading embodied engagements (like Queer History Walks).  

Committed to this range of outcomes, Matthew’s dancemaking has been shared and shown on stages, in parks, in classrooms, on online learning platforms, in a car, and in healthcare settings with people of all ages and backgrounds. He is currently an artist-educator with Jacob’s Pillow, including their Curriculum in Motion program: a residency program that brings choreographers into classrooms to animate and integrate movement and dance to support cross-curricular learning. With Dance Exchange, he has helped develop and brand Cassie Meador’s Moving Field Guide: a program that connects artists with scientists, naturalists, and environmental educators to help people learn about environmental issues, and that has partnered with park rangers in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, US Park service educators in the Boston school-district, and local historians and environmental experts in communities across the US. While with Dance Exchange, Matthew also stewarded the growth of ways that people connect to Dance Exchange through local programming. Matthew has been on faculty at Texas Woman’s University, Queensborough Community College, Colby College and American University; he has been an invited speaker at the New York City Roundtable Arts in Education conference, the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium at Virginia Tech, and the LGBT Health and Art Making conference, in partnership with the Human Rights Commission and the GWU Health and Well-being graduate program.

He has danced in the companies of Christian von Howard, Keith Thompson | danceTactics Performance Group, jill sigman | thinkdance, Paloma McGregor | Angela’s Pulse, and Dance Exchange- an intergenerational dance organization founded by Liz Lerman- where he joined as the first full-time artistic appointment in a post-founder transition and eventually became an Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Programs and Communications. Currently, he creates work with Annie Kloppenberg, Betsy Miller, and Tom Truss, and collaborates with a host of multidisciplinary artists through Matthew Cumbie Projects; he is also dancing with Christopher K. Morgan & Artists on the creation of a new work. His work has been commissioned and supported by places like Dance Place, the Kennedy Center, and Harvard University, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Arcus Foundation, and the Somerville Arts Council. Originally from Houston, Texas, Matthew holds undergraduate degrees from Texas Lutheran University and Texas State University and an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University. 

Summer I Intensive, 2019

 Michelle Boulé portrait photo

Michelle Boulé is a choreographer, performer, teacher and Certified BodyTalk Practitioner based in New York. Her work has received commissions and presentations from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, River to River Festival, American Realness, ISSUE Project Room, Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Dance and Process at The Kitchen, Movement Research at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Catch Performance Series, and a Danspace performance curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor in “Come Together: Surviving Sandy.” She has also toured her work to Gertrudes iealis teatris in Latvia, the OnEdge Festival at Links Hall in Chicago, and The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. Her collaborative duo with composer/cellist Okkyung Lee was presented by The Met Breuer, send + receive festival (Winnipeg, Canada), The Stone, MoMA Junior Associates event, and ISSUE Project Room. Boulé has been a choreographic assistant and performance coach for Deborah Hay solo adaptations, including an adaptation presented by Acerina Amador at El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain. She has also choreographed works for Zenon Dance, Eugene Lang College/The New School, California State University San Marcos, Latvian Academy of Culture, University of Oregon, Trevor Day School, and University of Illinois. Awards received include a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, Distinguished Legacy Award (University of IL), New Music USA Grant, Cloud Prize, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant. She has received residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development Program, Summer Stages Dance@The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, collective address, Gibney, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Movement Research, and internationally at DanceHouse (Ireland), and at SKITE (France). In 2002, she was a DanceWeb scholarship recipient at ImPulsTanz in Vienna.

As a performer, she collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez from 2001-2015, receiving a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” for her performance as James Dean and collaboration in the creation of “Last Meadow” and 2015 “Bessie” nomination for her body of work with Gutierrez. Other artists she has worked with include Heather Kravas, Aine Stapleton, Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, John Scott, Deborah Hay (William Forsythe commission “If I Sing to You”), David Wampach, Donna Uchizono, Mark Dendy, Neal Medlyn, Christine Elmo, Neal Beasley, Beth Gill, Judith Sanchez-Ruiz, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Opera Colorado), Gabriel Masson, and playwright/director Rosie Goldensohn. She is part of the teaching faculty at Movement Research and The New School/Eugene Lang College in New York. She has also been faculty Hollins University and the University of Illinois, as well as a guest teacher at dance institutions throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner since 2008, Michelle has treated hundreds of clients in New York and internationally through her online individual and group work at

April 12, 2019

Cara Hagan performing in front of red silk backdrop and ribbons

Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Roehampton University in London, Gonzaga University, and on professional dancers at the Dance Barn Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Her recent guest residencies have included Thirak India in Jaipur, India, Roehampton University in London, James Madison University, and at UC Boulder, where she was a guest artist as part of the 2017 U.N. {W.R.A.P} Series. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Performática Festival in Puebla, Mexico, at Three House Arts in Durham through the Durham Independent Dance Artists, the Asheville WordFest, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, and the Scottish Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh.

Cara presents her research regularly at universities, festivals and conferences around the world. A regular presenter at the National Women's Studies Association annual conference, she served as co-Chair for the Women of Color Leadership Project pre-conference sessions from 2016-2018. Her work on screendance has most recently been presented at the Loikka Dance Film Festival/Future Screens of Dance Conference in Helsinki, Finland, at DeMontfort University in Leicester, UK, and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A recipient of several awards, Cara's film Sound and Sole was awarded the "Best Southern States Documentary" at the 2018 Southern States Indie Fan Film Fest. She was most recently honored by the Governor of North Carolina and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her work as an African American artist in North Carolina and beyond. Other awards include a 2014-2015 NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award, a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a 2015-2016 University Research Council Grant. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF's Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. Cara's scholarly and creative work can be found in various publications, including the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Collective terrain, Quill and Parchment, Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts, the International Journal of Screendance, and in the book, Dance's Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently Cara is under contract to complete her first solo-authored book through McFarland Publishing.

March 4-6, 2019

Black and white headshot of Stuart Pimsler

Stuart Pimsler is a choreographer, director, writer, performer, founder and Artistic Co-Director of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT). His work has been honored with Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and McKnight Foundation and as well as a Major Fellowship and six Individual Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council. Mr. Pimsler has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, the Lila Wallace Arts Partners Fund, National Performance Network Creation Fund, the Jerome Foundation, the Wexner Center, University of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center, The Wharton Center at Michigan State University among others. In 2012, Mr. Pimsler was a guest artist at the Beijing Modern Dance Festival and in 2014 was one of three U.S. choreographers invited to Australia under the auspices of American Dance Abroad. 

Mr. Pimsler holds an A.B. in English from Franklin & Marshall College and a J.D. from Catholic University School of Law. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1975 and the following year was accepted as an M.F.A. Fellow in Dance at Connecticut College. His mentors have included Martha Myers and Daniel Nagrin, whose solos Spanish Dance (1948) and Word Game (1968) he continues to perform. As cultural activist, Mr. Pimsler has served on the Board of Directors of Dance/USA (1990-97) and the Steering Committee of the National Performance Network (1992-95). He has served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation and an array of arts councils and agencies throughout the U.S.  In 2005, Pimsler founded The SAGE Awards for Dance, an annual celebration of outstanding dance achievements throughout Minnesota which  he co-coordinated with Dana Kassel through 2016.

November 12-13, 2018

Photo of Ray Eliot Schwartz in the dance studio

Ray Eliot Schwartz is a research associate at the Mind Mind Movement Center. He attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from the University of Texas-Austin. He is the founder of Performática: International Forum of Contemporary Dance and Movement Arts and a consultant and teacher artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Ray was co-founder of four contemporary dance projects in the southern United States: Sheep Army, Zen Monkey Project, Steve's House Dance Collective and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, Southeast Asia, South America and Mexico. He has been a member of the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival and SFADI, among others.

His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais ™ Method. Additional studies include Zero-Balancing, anatomical dissection, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Traditional Thai Massage.

Through his work as a teacher of dance, movement and bodywork, he conducted extensive research on the aesthetic and pedagogical implications evoked by the integration of the education of the somatic movement and the forms of contemporary dance, presenting the results of this work in various academic forums and specialized publications. He currently serves as Academic Coordinator of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in Mexico.

Summer I Intensive, 2018

Headshot of Jennifer Mabus

Jennifer Mabus, MFA, possesses a rich background as a performing artist. Hailed as “bold” (New York Times) and “living calligraphy” (Boston Globe), she has performed internationally as a soloist with Battle Works, Robert Battle’s company before he became the director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Additionally, Mabus has danced for the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Heidi Latsky, Takehiro Ueyama, Bruce Wood Dance, Noble Motion Dance, and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, among others. She is a founding member of the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, where she has co-created original, experiential evenings in venues such as the Rothko Chapel, Rec Room and the Rice University Gallery.  

Mabus has presented choreography in festivals, such as the Dance Gallery Festival, the Dumbo Dance Festival, Cool/NY Festival, and 254 Festival and she has been commissioned to create work for Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Muscle Memory Dance Theater, the Foundation for Modern Music (Miller Outdoor Theater), and the Windsync Ensemble (Zilka Hall/Hobby Center). Mabus was the 2015 Rice University Dance Artist in Residence, a Noble Motion Dance 2016 “Next Step” artist, and a Dance Source Houston’s 2017 Artist in Residence. As an educator, she has served on the dance faculties of Texas Christian University, Sam Houston State University, San Jacinto College, Booker T Washington HSPVA, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Houston’s HSPVA.

January 31-February 2, 2018


Dr. Stephanie Milling headshot

Originally from Texas, Dr. Stephanie Milling left home at fourteen to attend the Walnut Hill School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated with honors in dance. Dr. Milling also completed her pre-professional training at prestigious programs such as the Boston Ballet School, the Houston Ballet Academy, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, Canada. Milling’s training enabled her to perform a varied repertoire with ballet and modern dance companies such as the Dayton Ballet, Berkshire Ballet, Tressor Dance Company, Contemporary Dance Fort Worth, the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and the Von Howard Project. She also has performed and assumed the role of dance captain for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Los Angeles, CA., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Since her performing career, Dr. Milling has taught in a wide variety of artistic and educational environments including company classes for Dallas Black Dance Theatre I and II, several public schools within the New York City Department of Education, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas. She also served in the capacity of Assistant Dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Milling helped author the 2010 South Carolina Standards for Dance Education and edited the Curriculum Support Document that accompanies the standards. In 2014, she participated as a reviewer of the National Dance Education Standards for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, and she regularly reviews scholarship applications for the Archibald Rutledge Scholarship awarded by the South Carolina Department of Education. Dr. Milling is an active arts advocate in the state and nation and received the South Carolina Dance Association’s Advocacy Award in 2012. She was recently elected to serve as a Board Member for the South Carolina Arts Alliance, and in 2013 she was elected to serve a three-year term on the Arts Education Council at Americans for the Arts where she regularly writes for ARTSblog on topics relating to Arts Education and Advocacy. Her service in the field of dance has included serving on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Dance Festival, South Carolina Dance Association, and the South Carolina Dance Education Organization. She has served on grant review panels for the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and she has written and received grants to support her own artistic work as well as the work of the South Carolina Dance Association. In 2012 she received a grant from Winthrop University to restage Partita V op. 1 in G Major by Doris Humphrey from a Labanotation score.

Dr. Milling’s creative and scholarly work revolves around the intersections of Women’s Studies and Dance, assessment, advocacy, and pedagogy. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Joyce Soho in New York City, the D.U.M.B.O. Dance Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y., Piccolo Spoleto, the annual conference for the National Dance Education Organization, and the Journal of Dance Education. Dr. Milling holds a Ph.D. in Dance and M.A. in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, an M.A in Dance Education from New York University, and a B.A. in French from Texas Christian University.

February 18-21, 2018

Ursula Payne headshot

Ursula Payne is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she received her MFA in Dance with specializations in Performance and Direction from Labanotation Score. Payne received advanced training and earned certification as a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. Ms. Payne formed Mills and Payne dance company with Tiffany Mills and performed in various dance festivals and professional venues in New York City, Toronto-ON, Memphis-TN, Dallas-TX, and Eugene-OR. In addition to her work with Mills and Payne Dance (1995-2000), Payne performed as a dancer with Diane McIntyre in the film "The Beloved" and in McIntyre's evening-length work "Love Poems to God" which premièred at BAM. Payne was also the featured soloist in Eva Gholson's "For the Love of One". Since 2000 Payne has functioned as an independent artist receiving four Pennsylvania Council for the Arts choreographic fellowships and numerous commissions from universities and professional dance companies.

Page last updated 11:58 AM, February 5, 2020