Hey there! It’s Jess speaking. I’m a writer, dancer, and teacher whose goal is to encourage others to live full and joyful lives through creative engagement. I believe that joy comes from freedom and that freedom can produce beautiful, life-giving things when people feel safe.

That’s why I’m committed to creating safe spaces for dancers as part of my life’s work.

It all began in 2013 when I taught my first ballet class. Since then, I’ve grown through my experiences as a dance educator in Atlanta, Florida, Texas, Panamá, and now Arizona. In each place, I find new movement climates to which I can’t help but respond and adapt.

In 2016, as an exploration and extension of that work, I created a fictional movement narrative called Kitti Sparks.

Kitti Sparks was a year-long project that featured artists from various disciplines and aimed to show the brilliance of the ordinary. Eventually, the artists involved ended the personal narrative with a multi-dimensional show in Atlanta, GA. Using both words and movement, the theme that shone through the project was

“You are worthy. You have a voice, and this world is less without you.”

And that’s a message that I’m still walking out in my own life. Actually, Kitti Sparks is now being made into a book through the generosity of one of my friends involved in the project. I’ll let you know when you can read it!

Anyway, in addition to being passionate about instructing dance and crafting words, I’m also a military spouse. Since 2016, my best friend and I have traveled from one town to the next in love. So far, we’ve lived in four places in three years!

Our nomadic lifestyle has taken my normally introverted self out into the world with an eagerness to make meaningful connections and serve where I can when I can. The relationships I’ve made in the course of following God through following my husband have been transformative and super special to me. They’ve changed the way I live and share for the better. In fact, if it wasn’t for our lifestyle, I might never have gotten the confidence to share online like this, so thank you, military!

From East to West Coast, dance has supported me. Movement has taught me about myself, my connection to the divine, and our connection with each other. Because of that, my goal is to remind people that they also have access to movement. Dance is for everybody, y’all! I’m excited to see you reclaim that truth in your own life.



Experience

Luckey Shot Photography

In 2016, Jessica graduated from Georgia State University with a BA in English and a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition. During her education, she danced with Atlanta Ballet in their Fellowship division for three years, was featured in two music videos, and danced with various Atlanta contemporary groups. Additionally, Jess studied with the Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA program in San Francisco for one year.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi Island Dance Demo
Texas A&M Corpus Christi Island Dance Demo

In an effort to serve her students in a deeper way, Jess became an RYT 200 certified yoga instructor through Fish Tree Yoga in 2017. The tools she learned through yoga gave her a more specific language for the body and more honor for humans as integrated beings.

Because of that training, she now has more respect for the importance of rest, breath, discussion, and creative engagement as important factors needed to live a fully embodied life. In fact, she includes those practices in the studio during her improvisation-based classes for teens and adults.

Arabian from Corpus Christi Ballet's Nutcracker
Arabian from Corpus Christi Ballet’s Nutcracker. Image by Alexandra Trevino

In 2018, Jess donned her pointe shoes for the last time to perform in Corpus Christi Ballet’s Nutcracker. Later that same winter, she was asked to choreograph and teach for the Texas A&M University: Corpus Christi dance department. Here again, the integration of story-telling and improvisation inspired a new creation and established new connections.

Texas A&M University: Corpus Christi Dancers perform “The Brevity of Silence” at The Art Museum of South Texas.
Image by Linda Rodriguez

You can now find Jess in and around the Yuma, Arizona area where she is finding ways to engage with local movers. Catch a class or workshop with her at Studio Y Yoga.

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