Kristi Petty

Kristi Topham Petty received an MFA in dance performance and choreography from Arizona State University, where she was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. She holds a BS in Dance Education with a minor in Biology from Brigham Young University and is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst. In Atlanta, Kristi has taught modern dance and dance related classes at Georgia Perimeter College, Agnes Scott College, and Emory University.

Her teaching style focuses on fluid athletic movement, utilizing concepts from somatic practices, Laban Movement Analysis, and the Bartenieff Fundamentals to instruct students on accessing strong physical connections for technical virtuosity, as well as clarity in space, shape, and effort for full expressivity. Her focus on finding personal meaning in movement, and relating those experiences to the one’s life experience, aids students to find authentic artistic expression. Her choreographic work investigates this connection of personal meaning to outer expressivity and seeks to find a unique movement vocabulary to communicate internal drives, desires, and emotions rising from the human experience.

Kristi has been on the modern dance faculty at Arizona State University and the University of Montana, where she danced with Headwaters Dance Company in repertory and outreach programs. Locally she has been a guest performer with David Dorfman Dance Company, danced in works by Emory faculty Sally Radell and Anna Leo, as well as other local choreographers/collaborations such as Duende Dance Theatre. Her choreographic work has been produced in Georgia, Montana, Arizona, Utah, and China, and been commissioned by Headwaters Dance Company and Emory Dance Company to name a few. She has worked as a staff member of Arizonans for Cultural Development, helping coordinate statewide arts advocacy events, and has a passion for arts education and bringing communities together through the arts.


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