ARTIST STATEMENT: I believe the arts are uniquely positioned to help people slow down, connect with self, with others and with the world around us. For this reason I aim to make work that asks people to check in and reflect on their actions socially, environmentally and intrinsically. I primarily create work in non-traditional spaces; emphasizing the interpersonal experience that emerges when audience and performers are close in proximity and blurring the fourth wall. As a leader in dance, I strive to empower those I work with by reinforcing ethically sound formalities, including bringing together racially diverse movers, respecting dancer's body size and appearance, transparent communications, holding space for fluidity of gender identities, and creating space for being an individual within a structure. These values persist within my solo work and in my company, VLA DANCE.