Lauren Kearns

Associate Professor of Dance
Center for the Arts 115
2800 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5592

Brief Biography


Professor Lauren Kearns is the Head of the Performing Arts Dance Program, a tenured Associate Professor of Dance, the architect of the B.F.A. degree in Dance Performance and Choreography and the co-architect of the B.S. degree in Dance Science. Ms. Kearns has received over twenty-seven grants, fellowships and awards to support her artistic scholarship and recently published her somatic research in the Journal of Dance Education. She has been a guest teacher and presenter at the American College Dance Festival since 2000, an invited presenter at the 2008 and 2009 National Dance Education Conference, an invited presenter at the 2012 Dance 2050 Vision Conference and was the 2009-2010 Guest Artist for the Winston-Salem All County Dance Consortium. Ms. Kearns will be the 2013 Guest Artist for the Penn-Griffin School for the Arts in High Point, N.C. Ms.Kearns also coordinated the 2010 NC Dance Alliance Conference and the 2011 American College Dance Festival Conference both hosted by Elon University. 

In addition to her academic career, Ms. Kearns is a choreographer having composed over forty-seven professionally produced concert pieces in the United States, France and China. She was awarded the 2008 NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship in recognition of her artistic excellence. Her second dance video, Everywhere I Look, is part of the permanent collection at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, NY. She is the artistic director of The Kearns Dance Project a professional N.C. Non-Profit Dance Company whose mission includes producing innovative and dynamic choreography, creating collaborative opportunities for artists to develop talents in all aspects of dance production and to provide thought-provoking educational outreach programs to the greater community through the art of dance. The company just completed the 2012-2013 NC Dance Festival Tour. As a performer, Ms. Kearns danced for numerous New York and Los Angeles based choreographers and received her SAG card for principal work in a national commercial.


M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance, UCLA

M.A. in Dance Education and Theory, UCLA

B.A. in Theatre Arts with a Dance Concentration, Long Island University

National Certifications in Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Classical Pilates

Master Level Certification in Alignment Based Yoga

Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 hour level

Employment History

2010-Present Elon University, Elon NC

Tenured Associate Professor of Dance and Head of Dance Program

2006-2010 Elon University, Elon NC

Assistant Professor of Dance and Head of Dance Program

1999-2006 Rio Hondo College, Whittier CA

Tenured Assistant Professor of Dance and Director of Dance

Courses Taught

Modern IV

Modern VI

Dance Ensemble

Somatic Theories I and II

Choreography I

Choreography II

Improvisation I

Senior Seminar

Advanced Yoga

Honors Course "Reincarnation of Yoga in America" (Team taught with Communications Professor Julie Lellis)

The Global Experience

Leadership Positions

Coordinator of the Dance Program, 2006-Present

Architect of the B.F.A. Dance Performance and Choreography Degree

Co-Architect of the B.S. Dance Science Degree (collaborated with Dr. Joyce Davis, Chair of Exercise Science)

President and Secretary of The Kearns Dance Project, a N.C. Non-Profit Organization

Regional Director for the American College Dance Festival Association 2011-2013

Board of Directors for the NC Dance Alliance 2008-2010

Board of Directors for the American College Dance Festival Association 2008-2011


Professor Kearns research agenda includes the application of somatic theories to dance training and performance, the creative and aesthetic implications of somatic practices, and the utilization of autobiography and multi-media in contemporary dance. Professor Kearns is developing "Somatic in Action" a modern dance technique and movement re-education system. 


Current Projects


Completing a tour of "Twister", an original duet, for the 2012-2013 NC Dance Festival Tour.

Creating "Bare" a new dance set on fifteen dancers and incorporating sculptural elements. The movement vocabularly is based on the "Somatics in Action" technique being developed by Kearns. 

Guest Artist for the Penn-Griffin School for the Arts. Creating "Free Flight" for thier advanced dance company. 

Directing "Moving Visuals", the Elon Spring Dance Concert.

Awarded the Elon Summer Faculty Fellowship for " Integrating, Documenting and Outlining Somatics in Action." 

Grants Awarded

Elon University Faculty Research and Development Summer Fellowship 2012 and 2013

Elon University Fund for Excellence Grant 2008 and 2010

Elon University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Writing Residency

NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship 2008

Elon Professional Development Grant 2008                                                                                                                          

Elon University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning  Research Grant 2007     

Elon Hultquist First Year Faculty Research Stipend 2006-2007                                                                         

Rio Hondo College Professional Development Grant 2004-2005

Los Angeles County Arts Commission Creative Grant 2003-2005

Artist Completion Grant, Durfee Foundation Production Grant 

Los Angeles County Arts Commission Administration Grant 2001-2003

Rio Hondo College Faculty Foundation Grant 1999

California Humanities Mini - Grant 1999

Regional Arts Grant/L.A. Cultural Affairs Department Producing Grant 1999


Kearns, L: I Live Here: A Multimedia Performance and Educational Project. Journal of Dance Education 11 (4) 2011. Pages 149-151.

Kearns, L: Somatics in Action: How “I Feel Three-Dimensional and Real” Improves Dance Training. Journal of Dance Education 10(1) 2010. Pages 35-40.

Link to Google Scholar Profile


Dance 2050: The Future of Dance in Higher Education, Temple University May 17-20, 2012 

“The 5 E’s: Expansive, Engaged, Experiential, Embodied and Entrepreneurial.” 

American College Dance Festival Conference, JMU, Harrisonburg, VA February 29-March 3, 2012                                                                                                           

"Dynamic Alignment Yoga for Dancers" and  "Somatics in Action - a Modern Technique and Movement Re-education System"                         

The ART of Public Memory: an international, interdisciplinary conference. UNCG, Greensboro, NC April 10, 2011

"We Dance/We Remember: An autobiographical Dance-making and writing tool to invoke personal and public memory"

National Dance Education Organization Conference New York, NY June 25, 2009

"Somatics in Action: An Integrative Approach to Teaching ModernTechnique"

National Dance Education Organization Conference Towson University, Towson, MD June 26, 2008

"We Dance: An Autobiographical Dance-Making Tool to Invoke Personal Empowerment"

American College Dance Festival Conference Goucher College, Baltimore, MD March 14, 2008

"Incorporating Somatic Theories into the University Curriculum"                          

Truth and Reconciliation Conference, A&T, Greensboro, NC April 14, 2007

"Dance as Social Activism"                                          




Guest Artist Award, Penn-Griffin School for the Arts  High Point, NC 2013

La Manufacture Dance Residency Award Aurillac, France 2012

NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship Raleigh, NC 2008

California Community College Dance Educator of the Year Award Sacramento, CA 2004