JENNIFER POLINS FOUNDING DIRECTOR SCDT, DIRECTOR OF HATCHERY
Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement practitioner, performance maker and teacher. Her work is in the service of cultivating qualities of appreciative joy and creating accessible programming focused on experimentation. Her mission is to activate imaginations, facilitate empowerment and transformation and encourage interest in the healing and creative potential of the movement arts. Jen founded The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought ( SCDT) in 2013 after completing her MFA through Hollins/ADF. SCDT connects dance practices, performances, and classes with thoughtful public conversation, encouraging and invigorating community engagement. SCDT offers an array of programming for all ages, most notably, a robust program for emerging and established movement artists, a vibrant adult education program and a unique and powerful pre professional program for teens. Central to SCDT's purpose is an abiding respect for the tradition and history of performance art and dance while continuing to challenge established concert dance ideals and contribute to the evolution of the field. SCDT prioritizes and is committed to programs that educate the general public about the creative process and to support the needs of independent artists at every stage in their careers.
Jen specializes in combining dance techniques and composition with rigorous improvisational practices, has been bridging somatics, performance practices, and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, and Massage and studied Body Mind Centering for over 10 years. Jen's ongoing somatic studies deeply affect her curation, teaching and making. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art. She has been deeply influenced by many mentors, most notably- Thomas DeFrantz, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, and Lisa Nelson. She has collaborated most recently with late and great Kathleen Hermesdorf and Nancy Stark Smith, Lisa Nelson, Jen Nugent, Wendy Woodson, Maurice Fraga, Joy Davis, Stephanie Maher, Peter Schmitz, Sarah Shelton Mann, Paul Matteson and James Morrow.
Jen has received many local and national grants and fellowships to support her own work and her work with SCDT including being a 2022 and 2014 MCC choreographic fellow.
Jen creates work and guest teaches in many regional colleges and universities, and is currently guest lecturer at Springfield College and recently in the Five College Dance department. With SCDT, Jen works collaboratively with A.P.E.@ Hawley as an assistant programmer, at the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival. and The Field Center as an artistic advisor.
See her work HERE.