I am a dancer, artist, educator, sex worker, counselor, and organizer of community events based in Troy, NY. I teach dance/movement/stretch classes, offer one-on-one sessions, and am an active artist and performer.
I believe that something exciting and profound happens when we are challenged to unhinge habit and question the capabilities of our minds/bodies, intelligently and delightfully engaged with the immediacy of the moment. I trust in this process of attentive and loving unhinging, laced with curiosity, as a fundamentally rich method for play, personal and collective knowing, community-building, and art making.
My classes, one-on-one work, and artistic practice are deeply influenced by meditation and Buddhist thought/philosophy, especially that of the Thai Forest lineage. My work is also fundamentally grounded in sex-positive and anti-oppressive values, and I aim for what I offer to contribute to dismantling patriarchy, white supremacy, heteronormativity, ableism, classism and misogyny.
In addition to teaching, counseling, and performance work, I co-host, with Sean Desiree, Troy's queer dance party Polly, which features DJs and performances, and aims to be a fun, safe space for women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color. Polly raises funds for different local social justice and arts initiatives each season such as Art Funds Art, Youth FX, The Social Justice Center, Justice for Dahmeek, Sanctuary for new Immigrants, and Holding Our Own. I also work with the Youth Shop at the Troy Bike Rescue and am on the board of TBR, working to help create a community-centered & anti-capitalist bike shop where young folks can learn to fix bikes and hang out in a safe space in which they can be themselves.
I received my MFA in Dance from UCLA and am currently pursuing a practice-based PhD in Art at RPI. I have been on faculty in the dance/art departments of Williams College, Marlboro College, and the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, and have worked with refugees at the Psychotrauma Centrum in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, police officers and fire fighters in New York City, and students at Colgate University, Skidmore College, and the University of Tallinn, Estonia. I have led trainings for activists and aspiring activists with Community LAB in Troy and the SEEDS Festival at Earthdance.
As an artist my work has been presented internationally including at the Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Machine Project, and JOAN Gallery in Los Angeles, The Boston Center for the Arts, SPACE Gallery Portland, The Tang Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, Torteaturn (Stockholm), Jacuzzi (Amsterdam), Zagreb Dance Center (Croatia), and Kenuti Guildi Zaal (Estonia), and collaborate with many artists. You can learn more about my artistic work here: www.hanavanderkolk.com