Susie Thiel is a choreographer, performer, teacher and holistic health counselor. She is currently dance coordinator and lecturer of dance at the University of Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Michigan University and her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan. Prior to her graduate training, Susie lived in New York City for eight years where she performed, taught and choreographed in a broad range of venues. She has performed with several modern dance companies, including the New York Dance Collective, Genesis Dance Company, Sharon Fogarty Dance Theatre and the Impulse Initiative. She has also appeared in Nike commercials directed by Spike Lee, Off-Broadway productions and industrials. Her modern, jazz and musical theatre choreography has been produced throughout New York and Michigan, and her musical theatre choreography for The Days of ’98 Show ran for three seasons in Skagway, Alaska.
A dedicated teacher, Susie has taught all levels of jazz, hip-hop, ballet, tap and contemporary modern in private studios and educational institutions. For three years she was the director of the Journey Dancers at the Brooklyn Music School, where she was artistic director of productions and assistant chair of the Dance Program. She has taught several body conditioning classes for dancers at the University of Michigan and during the Paul Taylor Summer Dance Intensive.
Through study at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in partnership with Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York City, Susie became a Certified Health Counselor working in holistic nutrition and lifestyle counseling. She has offered health counseling sessions for individuals and groups at the University of Michigan, The Paul Taylor Summer Dance Intensive, The Brooklyn Music School and Brant Lake Dance Camp. In 2010 she presented an invited paper entitled Holistic Nutrition: A New Approach for the Dancer as an Individual at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in Tempe, Arizona. In the summer of 2010, she was awarded a Rackham International Research Grant to conduct research on traditional folk dance forms in Turkey. The power of Turkish folk dance to unite people across cultures has informed her MFA thesis choreography, which was presented in concerts in March 2011.
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