Connection Through Movement with Kim Johnson

It’s so important to continue to move, to connect with your world around you—whether that’s people, whether it’s things. I think we all have our favorite landscapes to move in, even if it’s just a stroll. Put me in a forest and I’m a very different person when I leave. Because you’re connected to what’s around you.

Dance advocate Kim Johnson has devoted her life to movement—and she focuses on sharing that connection through authentic and intentional teaching.

Kim’s love for movement started at three years old when her dad, an avid weight lifter, brought her with him to the gym. Later in life, she became a professional dancer and teaching artist, who has performed 50+ concerts during her 20-year career.

Quitting is not in your vocabulary when you are a dancer—and it’s both good and bad. Kim explores the world of perfectionism and limitlessness, and how she advocates for a mindful and connected approach to movement. She shares a wealth of knowledge for dance teachers, encouraging the need to teach with intention and look beyond the aesthetic point of view.

Celebrating her 14th year on faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her 20th year at Danceworks, Kim is a seasoned artist and teacher who understands how to ask the body to work. As our bodies age…what is too much? What is too little? What’s too much in a good way or in a bad way? Kim encourages you to listen to your body.

In this episode, Kim shares:

  • Releasing perfectionism while teaching online quarantine ballet classes from her basement.
  • The vulnerability of being a teacher that evolves into a deeper connection with students.
  • Ways to listen to your body when it can’t perform at full capacity, especially as we age.
  • How if you don’t have the passion, then you don’t have the steam to keep exploring.
  • Why “no pain, no gain” is an unsafe way to work.
  • A reminder that teaching is not about you, it’s about people in the room with you.

Kim Johnson is the Director of Engagement at Danceworks, she is on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she is currently attending massage school. Kim strives to teach her students how the body moves and focuses on the kinesiology and anatomy of the body, in hopes to find an authentic flow and strength of movement.

Connect with Kim:

Danceworks
@u.p.dancer

Related Resources:

Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel
Calm App
Can Rescue Remedy Relieve Stress?

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