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Van Wormer’s approach to ballet is centered on exploring rich spirals and dynamic counter-pulls, allowing dancers to explore the balance between stability and mobility. Musicality and connectivity are emphasized throughout barre and center work, as the class moves from simple exercises to more complex phrases. Van Wormer emphasizes the classical aesthetics and nuances of the form through an anatomical, somatic lens.

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Van Wormer’s class explores the fluid relationship of gravity and levity, and the juxtaposition of line and flow. The organization and clarity of ballet meet the connectivity of release inspired modern technique, as dancers progress from floor work designed to increase awareness of internal connectivity, to traveling and phrase work with an emphasis on movement initiation and isolation, shifting weight, spirals and counter pull, and fluidity.

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Van Wormer’s class centers on finding and developing a personal artistic voice and compositional craft. Dancers will develop strategies for movement generation through guided improvisation prompts, create short movement studies, and explore motif and phrase development, spatial design, architecture of bodies in space, and relationship to sound. Van Wormer encourages dancers to explore a range of movement possibilities, and to think broadly about the body and meaning making.


“The class is organized very well and progresses to best teach students- each pattern of body connectivity is explored in an intelligent way- very specific feedback and corrections. Able to notice and be very insightful in her comments for improvements. Invested in each student. I like that we are encouraged to explore our own body’s movement patterns while incorporating Laban movement theory.”

– Undergraduate student, Contemporary

“My professor, Vanessa Van Wormer, has provided me with various tools in reaching my goals with ballet. The imagery she relayed to our class, through the course of the semester, as well as the way she has described skeletal alignment, has aided me immensely. These tools have helped my body as well as my mind to find its way to comprehending and applying the concepts which ballet invokes.”

–  Undergraduate student,  Intermediate Ballet

“Provided a safe, comfortable learning environment for dance majors and dancers to focus and develop our skills as choreographers. She notices each student equally. She has an incredible eye to see the weaknesses and strengths and really helps you become better.”

 – Undergraduate student, Choreography

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