Lauren Winslow Kearns is a tenured Associate Professor of Dance, the Coordinator of the BFA Dance Performance and Choreography and the BS Dance Science Programs, the architect of the BFA degree in Dance Performance and Choreography, and the co-designer of the BS Dance Science degree at Elon. She is a collaborative artist and scholar, specializing in choreography, performance and innovative pedagogical strategies. Her research interests include the application of somatic theories to dance training and performance, the creative and aesthetic implications of somatic practices, and the utilization of autobiography and multimedia in contemporary dance. Her creative research focuses on choreographing dynamic and athletic concert dance, screendance, and multimedia theatrical events. She is a published scholar - please click here to view her Google Scholar Profile. Kearns worked with Emmy Nominated Director Douglas Rosenberg in selecting the 2011 American Dance Festival's 16th Annual International Screendance Festival. She taught a mini-residency at La Manufacture Dance Centre in Aurillac, France and premiered her original dance piece "End Game" at the La Semaine de la Danse Festival in Aurillac, France March 2012. She recently completed a guest artist residency at the Penn-Griffin School for the Arts in High Point, N.C., collaborated on a dance film with the Bel Canto Opera Company, and co-produced the First Annual NC Triad Choreography Showcase. She will be spending the summer of 2014 working on her somatic research, presenting at the 29th Annual Body Mind Centering Conference and creating new dance pieces on The Kearns Dance Project, her professional dance company. Kearns will be on sabbatical during the fall 2014 semester, during which she will be creating a full-length dance-theatre piece and producing her company’s season premiere.
Kearns teaches Senior Seminar in Dance, Modern III-VI, Choregraphy I-II, Somatic Theories I-II, Special Topics in Dance, Advanced Yoga, Theory and Philosophy, Dance Departmental, mentors undergraduate creative and dance science research, and has taught collaboratively in the Elon Honors Program. She is also the co-director of the Elon Dance Company, the university's pre-professional dance company. Prior to her appointment at Elon, she was a tenured faculty member and Director of Dance at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California from 1999-2006. She taught all levels of modern, ballet, jazz, yoga, production and choreography, and was credited with designing and implementing the program's comprehensive lower-division dance and somatics curriculum. In addition to her academic career, Kearns is artistic director and choreographer of The Kearns Dance Project. The company premiered at the 2007 American Dance Festival Acts to Follow Series and has been actively touring the Southeast Region since. Please visit the company's website to learn more about the company's mission, upcoming performances and projects.
Prior to forming The Kearns Dance Project, Kearns was the director of bodytalk dance, a professional repertory company based in Los Angeles that toured from 1999-2005 and had consecutive seasons at Highways Performance Space, a national performance network venue. She has choreographed more than 50 professionally produced dance pieces nationally and internationally. Her work has been produced by La Manufacture Dance Centre, Aurillac France; Movement Research Center, NYC; Highways Performance Space, LA; the North Carolina Dance Festival; New York Dance on Camera Festival; Changshu, China, city government; Brand Library Dance Series, LA; Spectrum Dance Series, LA; Dance Under the Stars Festival, Palm Desert, CA; Los Angeles County Arts open House; Caught Between: Dancing for Camera and Live Audience, Hollywood, CA; Festival of New Dance and Performance, LA; Haugh Performing Arts Center; California Choreographers Festival; Dance Moving Forward Festival, LA; and Fountain Theatre Festival of Solos and Duets, Hollywood, CA.
“Everywhere I Look” (2004), Kearns' second dance video, is part of the permanent collection at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in New York City. As a performer, Kearns danced in the works of New York choreographers Cara Gargano, Cathy Zimmerman, Deborah Glaser and Janis Brenner, and Los Angeles choreographers Kiha Lee and Ming NG. She received her Screen Actors Guild card for her principal work in a national commercial.
Kearns has received over 29 grants, fellowships and awards to support her artistic and scholarly projects, the most recent being an Elon Research and Development Sabbatical to: Investigate the creative implications of “Somatics in Action”; Create and produce her dance company’s season premiere; and Outline a “Somatics in Action” textbook. She has received two Elon Summer Research Fellowship to document her "Somatics in Action" technique. She has also received the 2010-2011 Elon Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences for the creation and generation of “End Game”, the 2008-09 Elon Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences and the 2008 North Carolina Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship to support the creation of “I Live Here.” Kearns has also received a 2007 grant from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning to develop Deepening the Somatic Experience; a 2006-07 Hultquist Stipend and a 2006-07 Faculty Research and Development Grant to pursue her somatic research in Advanced Yoga Body Science and its application to dance performance and creative training. She currently is working on a series of articles about her somatic research. In 2004, Kearns received the California Community College Dance Educator of the Year Award for her contribution to Rio Hondo College, and in 2003, she received grants from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Durfee Foundation to incorporate the use of video in her choreography. She has presented her scholarly and creative research at the National Dance Education Organization Conference (2008, 2009) and the American College Dance Festival (2000-present).
Kearns served a two-year term on the National Board of Directors of the American College Dance Festival Association representing the Mid-Atlantic region as the Regional Director. Kearns is a frequent guest lecturer and presenter at national conferences, and has presented at DANCE 2050: The Future of Dance in Higher Education held at The Boyer Colelge of Music and Dance, Temple University and the 2013 National Dance Education Conference in Miami, FL among many others. She coordinated the NC Dance Alliance Annual Conference September 10-11, 2010 and the American College Dance Festival Conference March 23-26, 2011. Both conferences were held at Elon University.
Kearns holds an M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance and an M.A. in Dance Education and Theory from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a specialization in Dance from Long Island University. She holds certifications in Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Alignment Based Hatha Yoga, and Classical Pilates. Kearns is a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance.