School of Theatre Arts and Dance
College of Performing and Visual Arts
Ray Eliot Schwartz (he/him) is the founder and director of Somatic Dimensions, an
embodiment laboratory. He is an artist, educator, and investigator.
With a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from the University of Texas-Austin, Ray has made multidimensional contributions to contemporary dance practice, somatic movement education, and embodiment as an artistic, cultural, and social phenomenon.
He is a published scholar who writes about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice and has taught extensively both internationally and within the U.S., facilitating multiple constituencies through inclusive pedagogical methods. He has served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, The University of Texas El Paso, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, Verano Chilango, Camp_iN, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival, SFADI, and the Maestría Profesional en Danza of the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, among many, many others. He was a professor at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla for 16 years and director of the B.A. program in dance there from 2008-2018. In 2010, he was awarded the inaugural Medal of Commitment to Education, which recognizes excellence in teaching and service.
Between 1992 and 2012, he co-founded four contemporary performance projects in the
southern U.S.: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective, and THEM. He has participated as an invited guest artist on four continents, creating and presenting
innovative movement-based work and scenic art performance projects with diverse populations
for the concert stage, alternative venues, as well as within participatory performance
His commitment to somatic studies is reflected in his certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method®, as well as his exploration of other disciplines such as Zero-Balancing®, Gross Anatomy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Traditional Thai Massage.
Since 2010, he has been a research fellow and member of the educational leadership team of the Center for Body-Mind Movement, an ISMETA approved Somatic Movement Education program with activities in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and the United States.
He is currently coordinator of the M.A. in Dance Education through the University
of Northern Colorado, an Instructor in the Program in Dance at Duke University and
continues to develop his work as a Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist supporting
people in attuning themselves, through movement, towards a greater clarity of intention
in the practices of everyday life. He is a parent, partner, community member, serves
on various boards and advisory councils for dance and somatics organizations, and
is, like all of us, a person - figuring it out as he goes along.
Some of his written and choreographic research can be found by clicking the hyperlink.