Melanie Meenan, M.F.A., BASI
Clinical Associate Professor, Co-Program Coordinator, Dance Studio Co-Director, Dance
Movement Sciences EHHS
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844-2401
- M.F.A., Dance, University of Oregon, 2013
- BASI, Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Certification, 2008
- M.A., Dance Performance, Laban, 2005
- B.F.A., Dance, University of Wyoming, 2003
- B.A., Journalism, University of Wyoming, 2003
- DAN 416/216/116/516: Modern Dance Technique (All levels)
- DAN 416/216/116/516: Ballet Technique (All levels)
- DAN 100: Dance in Society
- DAN 101: Dance Seminar
- DAN 210: Dance Performance
- DAN 211: Dance Conditioning
- DAN 284: Dance Improvisation
- DAN 324: Integrated Movement Practices
- DAN 384: Dance Composition I
- DAN 410: Pre-Professional Dance Performance
- DAN 412: Choreography Lab
- DAN 421: Dance History & Contemporary Views
- DAN 490: Senior Project
- PEB 106: Pilates
- Diane B. Walker Dance Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award, University of Idaho (2016 & 2019)
- Fine Arts Fee Grants, University of Idaho (2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019)
- Alumni Award for Excellence, recognition of outstanding contributions to students’ academic development, University of Idaho, 2016
- Dance work, that moment when…, received Gala Concert selection at Northwest ACDA Conference (2014)
- Georgianne Teller Singer Dean’s Fellowship in Dance, recognition for excellence in teaching and graduate studies, University of Oregon, 2010-2013
- Outstanding Dance Graduate Student Award, School of Music and Dance, University of Oregon, 2013
- Graduate School Research Award, Dance, University of Oregon, 2013
- Summer Research Grants, Dance, University of Oregon, 2012 and 2011
Melanie J. Meenan (MFA, MA, BASI) is an advocate for researching dance through performance, choreography, movement practice, and theory. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Co-Coordinator of the Dance Program at the University of Idaho where she teaches improvisation, modern, composition, experiential anatomy, ballet, and additional courses that aim to blend theory and practice.
She received her MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon, honored as a three-time recipient of the Georgianne Teller Singer Dean’s Fellowship in Dance. She also holds an MA in Dance Performance from Laban in London, a comprehensive Pilates teacher certification from BASI Pilates®, and a BFA in Dance and BA in Journalism from the University of Wyoming. Melanie has danced professionally as a freelance artist, a member of the Hannah Kahn Dance Company in Denver, and with Transitions Dance Company in London. She has danced in works by Heidi Duckler, Mark Haim, Shannon Mockli, Walter Kennedy, Rafael Bonachela, Willi Donner, Roger Sinha, Miguell Pereira, Peter DiMuro and Michelle Pearson, Rachel Winchester, Peter Pucci, Kent De Spain, Marsha Knight, Margaret Wilson, and Bill Evans. Her choreographic work has been showcased at American College Dance Association conferences, the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance Emerging Artist Series, Dance for a Reason in Eugene, and annually in main stage productions at the University of Idaho.
Melanie is a member of IADMS and NDEO, a board member for IDEO, and a student of Body-Mind Centering®. Her research has examined the somatic practice of dance and strategies for approaching dance training, teaching, performance, and the creative process with mindfulness. She enjoys considering the intelligence of our ever-developing and changing bodies and ways to support a lifetime of healthy development. Through mindfulness, experiential formats, and a focus on the whole-self, Melanie seeks to promote dance as a healthy endeavor.
- Somatic Dance Pedagogy
- Experiential Anatomy & Dance Kinesiology
- Contemporary Approaches to Ballet & Modern Techniques
- Dance Improvisation & Composition
- Dance Production
- Co-Director, Pilates & Performance Laboratory, University of Idaho, opening fall 2019.
- Pilates Educational Coordinator & BASI Pilates® Host Liaison, 2015-present
- Idaho Dance Education Organization Board Member, Independent Artist Representative, 2019-Present
- Fall Faculty Production with associated events and guest residencies, 2014-present
- Idaho Dance Education Organization, Conference Chair, 2017
Select Choreographic Work
- Always Already. Created in a collaboration with the dancers, Sarah VanGundy (creative writer) and Ruby Fulton (music composer). Performed in faculty concert, Convergence, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, October 2018.
- Beneath the Surface. Performed in faculty concert, Form & Transform, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, November 2017.
- The Agenda. Performed in DancersDrummerDreamers, Conversations, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, March 2017.
- (Un)familiar. Performed in faculty concert, Defining Balance, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, October 2016.
- Ethan & Louie. Premiered in faculty concert, Rising Momentum, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, November 2015. *Adjudicated at the 2016 Northwest ACDA conference, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.
- Then I Linger Here. Performed in faculty concert, Pulse, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, November 2014.
- that moment when… Premiered in Dance Theatre production, Colliding Contrasts, Hartung Theatre, University of Idaho, November 2013. *Adjudicated at 2014 Northwest Region ACDF conference; selected for Gala concert.
- “Outer Reaches, Inner Spaces.” Investigating inner-outer connectivity, spatial relationships, and sensation utilizing improvisation and experiential anatomy practices. 2019 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Utah.
- “Contemporary Modern Dance Technique.” A contemporary approach to modern dance technique researching the use of weight, release, a dynamic relationship to the floor, sensation, and spatial clarity while in movement dialogue. 2019 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Utah.
- “Reframing Pilates through Movement Dialogue.” Researching Pilates mat repertoire through language, imagery, and inner dialogue. 2018 Idaho Dance Education Organization Conference: Deepening through Dialogue, College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls, ID).
- “Dance Making Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” Lecture-demonstration provided for the University of Idaho Malcom M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium, presented in collaboration with colleague Belle Baggs October 2018.
- “Healthy Practices in Ballet.” Embodying strategies for improving physical and mental health in the ballet technique class. 2017 Idaho Dance Education Organization Conference: Embodying Healthy Practices, University of Idaho (Moscow, ID).
- “Reframing Pilates.” Researching Pilates mat repertoire through experiential anatomy practices. 2017 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Oregon.
- “Modern Dance.” A modern dance technique class researching the use of weight, momentum, release, a dynamic relationship to the floor, sensation, movement dialogue, and abandonment. 2017 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Oregon.
- “Stop, Go, YIELD.” An improvisational research session exploring relationship to floor and other through ideas of yield and push. 2016 Idaho Dance Education Organization Conference: The Language of Dance, Ballet Idaho (Boise, ID).
- “Dynamic Pilates.” A Pilates mat class based on the BASI Pilates® method. 2016 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Wyoming.
- “Stop, Go, YIELD.” An improvisational research session exploring relationship to floor and other through ideas of yield and push. 2016 Northwest American College Dance Association Conference, University of Wyoming.
- “Moving with Mindfulness.” A movement research session focused on engaging mindfully with environment through movement experiences. 2015 DanceBARN Festival (Battle Lake, MN).
- “Outer Reaches, Inner Spaces.” Investigating inner-outer connectivity, spatial relationships, and sensation utilizing improvisation and experiential anatomy practices. 2015 Northcentral American College Dance Conference, Iowa State University.
- “Moving with Mindfulness.” Researching dance practices and strategies for remaining present in the moment of movement without judgement. 2014 Northwest American College Dance Festival Conference, University of Montana.
- “Improvisation in Technique, Technique in Improvisation.” A modern dance based movement research session. 2013 Baja Regional American College Dance Festival Conference, El Camino College.
- Meenan M.J. & Chatfield SJ. (2013). Dance in the 21st Century: The Neuroscience of Mindfulness and its Presence in Dance. Abstracts of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, 67-68. Presented October 19, 2013.
- Meenan, M.J. (2013). Exploring the Modern Dance Technique Class as a Somatic Practice. MFA Thesis, University of Oregon. UMI Dissertation Publishing.