Alumnae/i Profile

Paulette Sears

Paulette SearsPaulette Sears created over fifty dances seen in New York at Joyce Soho as part of the DancenowFest, the Cunningham Studio, Symphony Space, PS 122, and Ohio Theater; in New Jersey at George Street Playhouse, Westminster Choir College, Rider University, and Mill Hill Playhouse, and abroad in Rio de Janeiro. A regular performer with the 40Up Project at St. Mark’s Church, she has been a frequent collaborator in work by Claire Porter. She was a community performer in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre. Recognized at regional American College Dance Festivals, she was funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She was a teaching artist in Europe for Laban International, and was twice invited to teach at the Hungarian-American Dance Festival in Budapest. She has taught at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, the Dance Notation Bureau, Omega Institute, Lake Erie College, Skidmore College, and at summer dance festivals. She holds an undergraduate degree in English from Vassar College, a graduate degree in dance from Mills College, and is certified in Laban Movement Studies from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. A long-time Associate Professor of Dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she became Professor Emerita in summer of 2013.

What about your Mills experience have you continued to benefit from since graduating?

Mills shaped the arc of my life since graduation. The deep commitment of its faculty—to me as a human being (who just happened to be a dancer) and to my graduate education in dance—formed the nucleus for how and where I journeyed over the next thirty-eight years. Mills took a life-long dancer and shaped her in ways beyond her known borders. A gun-shy choreographer learned to love the creative process and to lean into the unknown as a way to grow both personally and artistically. Many other classes enlarged my movement world historically, aesthetically, critically, kinesthetically. I will forever be grateful to my mentors for their trust in my capabilities. I have been able to move through an academic and artistic arena, a thoroughly joyful experience, because I was empowered to meld my inner reality with the outer world. What a great ride!

How has dance helped shape your current work or passions?

Dance shaped my life, or rather more, movement has always shaped my life in some form or other. I believe my inner eye just views the world at large in this respect. Whatever I do comes from the perspective of mind-body-spirit in cohesion. Because dance enabled me to be playful, many of my current passions are natural outgrowths of this outlook.

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Last Updated: 3/15/18