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Mary Johnston-Coursey has taught, choreographed and per- formed dance since 1987. She has been on the faculties of the University of Utah, Utah State University, Columbia College Dance Center, MoMing Dance and Art Center, and The School. Residencies and choreographic commissions have taken her across the country, as well as to Costa Rica. Upon moving to Utah, Mary founded her own dance company, Kinetic Cafe, and became co-founder of the Choreographers Lab. For eight years she co-directed the art program at The Open Classroom elementary charter school. Mary is also a singer and a yogi. She has performed for many years in two bands, and currently teaches yoga and meditation.
Mary joined forces with Roz Newmark back in 1991 with the interactive storytelling company Ripple Tales. Dancers and mu- sicians both, their collaboration is constantly evolving and is richly fed by their many independent artistic pursuits in the performing and the visual arts. In Ripple Tales, they weave in audience participation as they combine movement and music into their stories.
Mary has worked alone and with Roz in residencies with chil- dren to build stories that incorporate various art forms into performance, engaging each child to join in with body and voice, heart and soul. We start by laying in a foundation of tools and skills, then encourage the children to make choices and develop their own creation within the structure we have set. A s