An Atlanta native, Christen Sewell Weimer embodied a passion for movement at a young age. Before fully actualizing her love of dance, Christen competed both nationally and internationally as a rhythmic gymnast. Transitioning to the art of dance came somewhat organically for her when she enrolled in the school at Atlanta Ballet in 2001. Christen’s pursuit of movement propelled her first to Indiana University’s Ballet program and then to New York, where she studied, choreographed and performed at Barnard College, Columbia University. Graduating magna cum laude from Barnard in 2006, Christen holds a BA in Psychology and a minor in Dance. Christen has performed professionally with Brooks and Company Dance, as well as with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet. She also occasionally dabbles in commercial work, and in 2001 Christen was featured as a rhythmic gymnast in Outkast’s music video, "Trans DF Express."
Christen furthered her studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, from where she received an MFA in Dance Performance in 2011. Christen was certified through the Mind Body Dancer® 200 Yoga Teacher Training with TaraMarie Perri. Through this comprehensive yoga teacher training, she was certified at the 200-hour level to teach alignment-based, breath-focused, mindful Vinyasa. Currently, Christen serves on faculty in the Drama and Dance department at Spelman College, as well as at the Fiona Faerrie Ballet Conservatory. Christen would like to thank her family, friends, mentors and students, who continually inspire her.
how has your study of yoga or connection to our community related to a project or pathway in your life?
I am currently serving as a Professor in the Dance Department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. My creative research explores the myriad ways that memory and experience are manifested in the body and how movement can facilitate healing. I am fascinated in how both dance and yoga can facilitate healing of body and mind.
Last year, I directed and collaborated with other artists in the Atlanta area to create Heartspace, an evening of visual art, music, dance in an art gallery space (Gallery L1) in the heart of Atlanta. 60% of the ticket sales went directly to Wellspring for Living, a rehabilitation home for women and girls who have been victims of sex-trafficking. The money helped to provide opportunities for the women and girls to participate in holistic forms of therapy (art, yoga, dance classes) as a part of their healing process.
In 2014, while serving as an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University, in collaboration with my students, I created a new ten-minute work that was inspired by my experience (and by my students’ experiences) volunteering at Wellspring. We visited the Wellspring home and participated in a movement workshop with the girls. We then created a dance that was inspired by the gestures, subtle movements and stories of the women and girls of Wellspring. Three months later, the KSU students put on a showing of the work in the Wellspring home where the girls were living and undergoing treatment. The piece was well-received, and the women and girls living in the home seemed to connect with the piece on an intrinsic level.