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Wallie Wolfgruber

Associate Professor of Dance

Wallie Wolfgruber has enjoyed a dynamic directing, teaching, choreographic, and performing career. Since joining the Conservatory of Dance in July 2010 and serving as director through June 2014, she has brought a wealth of experience in the studio, on stage, and behind the scenes to the program.

Wolfgruber was a principal dancer with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, toured internationally, and has worked with a variety of other choreographers, from established to experimental. Among these are Ohad Naharin, Donald Byrd, Rod Rogers, Keith Young, Sung Soo Ahn, and Jessica Iwanson.

Wolfgruber holds an MFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her directing and teaching experience includes being undergraduate program director and associate professor in the dance department at SUNY Brockport; co-founder and director of SEAD in Austria; and a faculty member at Florida State University, Rutgers University, Manhattanville College, and the Mark Morris Dance Center. Her teaching expertise encompasses ballet, modern technique, somatic practice, partnering, composition, improvisation and graduate and freshman seminar. Certified in the Trager Approach/Psychophysical Reeducation, her teaching in the studio is informed by her professional dance world experiences and her ongoing interest in anatomy and physiology, psychology, physics and various bodywork modalities. In 2007, she travelled to Africa, researched Maasai dances, and taught and performed in orphanages in remote, rural areas in Kenya.

Her choreography has been presented internationally and in New York City at the Abrons Arts Center, La Mama E.T.C., the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and with DanceNow at the Joyce Soho, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, the Duke on 42nd Street, and Dance Theater Workshop. Her interests include collaborations with composers and video artists. Her video dance, A Hands-On Affair, was created in collaboration with Alvin Booth and selected for the Dance On Camera Festival in Los Angeles and New York City. She established her company Wallie Wolfgruber & Dancers, in 2008. Her ongoing project, Sacred Things, currently includes the dance works Dream Support and Ingress, a series of photographs and an earth installation. 

Research Interests

My current research interests include anatomy, specifically the gamma sensory motor system,  and psychology. I am driven by my desire to enhance my understanding of how we learn, how we heal, and how we progress to create a more sustainable and just future.

Representative Courses  Demonstrating ballet barre:

Ronde de Jambe a Terre, Spring semester 2020

Ballet Class Description:

Wallie Wolfgruber teaches a ballet class that is both challenging and has a contemporary sensibility. She emphasizes connectivity, fluid transitions and consistently applying correct body alignment based on one’s individual anatomy, dynamic phrasing and transversing space. The class is designed to help dancers find the natural balance between releasing unnecessary muscle tension while building strength in areas where it is needed. A regular class will consist of barre, adagio, center practice, a traveling or waltz combination, petit allegro and grand allegro. Her teaching approach continues to be informed by her own on-going embodied practice and her experience in various somatic modalities.

Exhibitions / Performances Once Upon A Time Between The Heart Region And The Amygdala, solo, choreographed and performed by Wallie Wolfgruber, 2016, Joe’s Pub, Public Theater, NYC

Performing in In Conversation with Merce with an all star cast under the direction of Netta Yerushalmy, NYU Skirball Theater, May 2019  It Will Feel Like Walking, solo, choreographed by Wallie Wolfgruber, danced by Josephine Haas, 2019