Photo credit Dylan Ward
I am an artist exploring the power of embodied arts to heal, unite, empower.
Hayley Shannon is originally from Saline, Michigan where she discovered the power of nature and dance to return her to a sensation of aliveness. Upon finding dance at age seven as a channel to transform self-consciousness into spirit, she pursued it with great passion. Thanks to her family, scholarships, and cleaning many toilets, she was able to study dance through high school and earned a B.A. in Communications and Dance at Michigan State University. She believes strongly that dance saved her again and again - by returning her to an authentic knowing of her body and truth. Hayley's professor and mentor at MSU, Sherrie Barr, made an invaluable impact on her life by challenging her to strip away extraneous movement to find a more authentic and embodied wisdom beneath.
While at MSU, a hunger to explore dance as vessel for uniting humanity across cultural boundaries led Hayley to bring dance to youth from underserved communities. She was a company member of the Michigan Dance Project under the artistic direction of Kathy King, who helped her shift her perception of suffering by showing her the power of gratitude.
Hayley followed a call to move to Seattle, WA after graduating in 2013 where she was delighted to find a community that celebrates experimentation and genuine self-expression. She's had the pleasure of dancing with The Three Yells Performance Company under artistic direction of Veronica Lee-Baik since 2014, as well as other artists including Dylan Ward, Noelle Chun, Kim Holloway, Jessica Jobaris and Cameo Lethem.
In 2015 she journeyed to Panama to teach youth at orphanages and students at University of Panama. The following year, she followed a call to study dance/movement therapy in Greece with Dr. Danielle Fraenkel, founder of Kinections. This experience catalyzed a transformational shift personally, creatively and professionally and empowered Hayley to further her somatic studies while infusing D/MT into her dance teaching in Seattle.
Hayley has continued investigating humanity through teaching, dance-making and performance and has shown work as a resident choreographer at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI, and at Velocity Dance Center, On the Boards, Erickson Theater Off Broadway and YAW Theatre in Seattle, WA.
As an educator, she has completed Anne Green Gilbert's Summer Dance Institute for Teachers, WA State's Teaching Artist Training Lab, and continues to study with somatic practitioners in the region, including embodied consciousness instructor Sono Hashisaki. She believes dance technique, especially when combined with mindfulness, can facilitate body agency - the capacity to claim all parts of ourselves as an interconnected, spacious being with a unique voice to explore and celebrate.
You can find Hayley teaching classes for people of all ages and abilities at Velocity Dance Center, Creative Dance Center, Spectrum Dance Theater, with Pacific Northwest Ballet's Community Education Program and Silver Kite Community Arts. She created and continues to lead ongoing workshops of Dance Healing, a class designed to facilitate authentic connection to oneself and others through dance.
When Hayley is not dancing or being in nature, she coordinates community outreach programs at Spectrum Dance Theater and is a board member for Dance Educators Association of Washington (Social Media Director).