Amy O'Brien

Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts
Phone: 607-274-3925
Office: Dillingham Center 034, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: Ballet

            I am a teacher and an artist who is inspired by the pure quality of movement and clean lines of the ballet technique. The implementation of ballet vocabulary and responsible professionalism when taking a class is a part of my ballet curriculum for all levels. My hope for students is that they gain a better sense of who they are by their exploration in strength building, stretching, and understanding their body alignment. I feel energized by those who decide to dedicate their whole mind and spirit to an art form that has no boundaries. Creating an open space for students to take risks and travel on their own path is deeply rewarding.

             When I create movement for a piece, I work from an internal emotional state which creates a more meaningful story. I appreciate a collaborative rehearsal and learning environment and process, which invites the dancers and me to find energy in the sense of community building. My ballet training is innate in me and gives stability and value to my dance making.  Like the structure of the body, my choreography uses contemporary ballet steps but explores movement through the expansiveness of structure, organized patterns, and behaviors.

            I invite students to take on challenges and embrace changes to provide growth in their personal and artistic endeavors. The gift of movement and creating dance is to be cherished, and I find for students to begin to understand this, they must be willing to fail, and try again. Listening to ones’ authentic body creates awareness and openness to trust in the learning process both personally and in each other. I believe in developing a community of dancers who support, encourage, and listen to each other, which means I instruct depending on the needs of each student. My goal is for each student to feel that they have been recognized, given validation, and guided in a way that they have material to work and develop on their own. I encourage students to identify and celebrate the process, over the result.