Laura holds a PhD in Dance History and Theory from the UC Riverside, a BA in Music History and Literature and a certificate in Ethnomusicology from The Florida State University, and worked towards an MA in Dance Ethnology at UCLA. She has over thirty years of teaching experience; twenty of them in teaching dance studio and fitness classes for beginners to professional levels. While attending graduate school, Laura took courses in dance pedagogy and had opportunities to design and teach accredited courses in dance. These allowed her to continue developing her own method of teaching while gaining invaluable insights and feedback from top dance therapists and educators. Since then she has taught accredited courses at Cal Poly Pomona, continuing adult education classes at the Learning Tree and Golden Oaks in Los Angeles, and workshops at a number of universities and colleges. In 2007, Laura began developing the seminar series “How to Teach Dance” for new and seasoned teachers to learn and practice new pedagogical methods.Laura’s productions are centered on building supportive dance communities. She wants dancers to reach intellectual and artistic goals, and therefore, develops a variety of avenues for practice and performance. Laura also understands the other important part of the production; the development of an understanding and engaging audience.
Laura produces numerous events, including the international acclaimed theatrical concert “An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance,” “X-MED” workshop series on experimental dance, site-specific shows, and monthly showcases. She has also produced numerous commercial dance videos and in 1998, co-founded “Dance Under Construction,” a UC system wide graduate dance conference.
In addition to teaching and producing, Laura has performed across the United States in various venues as a soloist and company member. She is featured in over 15 commercial videos. Since 1997, Laura has been the Director and Choreographer of Ya Helewa! Dance Company, which performs a diverse repertory of traditional and experimental improvisations and choreographies.
Injury Prevention Certification for Austin Dance Instructors hosted at Balance Dance Studios Austin, TX:
Dr. Laura Osweiler, also know as Amara in her belly dancing classes at BDS, has held her inaugural Injury Prevention Certification Program at the studio in an effort to develop Austin area instructors’ injury awareness and teaching skills. Dr. Osweiler credentials include a PhD in Dance History and Theory from UC Riverside and over twenty years of teaching experience, including accredited courses from UCLS, UCR and Cal Poly Pomona. She has made a personal commitment to spreading her knowledge around the Austin Dance community and this workshop is the first of many to be offered throughout the city. We are so glad that she chose to host this program at BDS!
Senior Instructor Danielle Storey attended the three-part workshop. “Dr. Osweiler has a wealth of knowledge and I’m so glad that I took part in this series. It has been an eye opening experience and my instruction abilities have been deeply impacted in just three weeks of working with Dr. Osweiler. I loved the open and collaborative environment! I made some new friends within the dance community and learned a ton from my peers in the field. I recommend the course to dance instructors young and old.”
Workshop participants examined the potential for injury within their own dance form and how to avoid such injuries among students with their instruction style. At the end of the certification process each participant will have spent ten hours diving into the anatomy of their dance form with a focus on muscle groups, tendons, ligaments and joints. The culmination of the program is a 45-minute presentation given by each participant covering the anatomical elements of their dance form, instruction theories, a class warm up and a cool down. “We hope to make this beneficial program a mandatory accreditation for our instructors in the future,” says owner/ Artistic Director Kristin Nicoliasen."