M.F.A. Dance Research and Education, Dance Program, University of Washington
B.F.A. Graphic Communication, Universidad Autómoma Metropolitana, Mexico City
Certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor
Professional Ballet Degree, Royal Academy of Dancing, London, UK
The body is a creative force and I believe movement provides access to empowerment, mindfulness, and self-discovery. I also believe that exploring movement is a pathway to living a diverse, flexible, healthy life. To achieve these things, it is important to first respect our bodies and appreciate what we all obviously have in common—we all have a body no matter where we come from.
The classroom and the stage as spaces where the mind and body can be unified to experience boundlessness and freedom. By posing physical and mental challenges, encouraging experimentation with movement and ideas, and leading discussions of how conscious movement can benefit individuals and society, I see my role as a teacher to help students understand consciousness and develop awareness through movement. I want students to apply what they learn and think/move critically and creatively not just in the classroom but during their daily activities.
The classroom is a laboratory in which to understand our complexity as human beings and the relationships between our body and emotions and to each other and the world. My classes utilize a variety of dance techniques, mindful movement practices, and somatic concepts that range from Western dance techniques such as ballet, modern/contemporary dance, and dance improvisation to Eastern movement practices such as butoh and yoga. I also present dances from around the world that connect students to their diverse heritages. In my curriculum, we also take field trips to professional dance performances and work with visiting artists and experts.
After two decades of teaching movement to all ages, I am certain of the power of movement and dance to enrich students’ college experiences and help them find new collaborative and creative tools to use in other disciplines. I invite my students to embody physical and intellectual risks and discover their own movement fingerprint and uniqueness in order to thrive as human beings.
Ballet, contemporary dance, butoh for healing and transformation, Butoh Ritual Mexicano/Butoh Ritual Movement, dance improvisation, dance composition, digital movement, and dance/theater
Mindful movement practices
Yoga (Vinyasa Flow and Forrest Yoga), Pilates (Classical, Stott, and Fletcher), and mindfulness meditation
Recent Courses Taught
UWB Study Abroad Oaxaca Mexico: Dance as Social Technology for Healing, Culture, and Community
BISIA 484: Art Learning in the Community: Healing & Community Through Dance
BISIA 283: Performing Art Techniques—Digital Movement
BISIA 230: Performing Art Techniques: Introduction to Dance Improvisation
BARTS 161: Introduction to Dance and Mindful Movement Practices
BCUSP 197: Your Body in Action: Experiments in Dance and Theatre
Diana is a dual citizen (Mexico/US) movement educator and international artist. Her work centers on dance and movement as healing and transformative practices. Diana is a co-founder of the DAIPANbutoh Collective Dance Company and has performed nationally and internationally in Mexico, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, Canada and the United States for 25 years. Diana performed with the National Ballet of Mexico in Mexico City, Luna Negra Dance Theater, the Chicago Moving Company in Chicago, and the Chamber Dance Company in Seattle. She has presented her solo work in South Korea, Toronto, and New York City with Korean media artist Eunsu Kang. Among her mentors are American Midwest modern dance educator Nana Shineflug and Mexican butoh master Diego Piñon. Her teaching and creative work has been propelled and inspired by the work of German choreographer Pina Bausch, Japanese butoh master Kasuo Ohno, the dance and technology research of American post-modern choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the dance as healing practices of Anna Halprin and Gabrielle Roth, among others. Diana also enjoys very much teaching Pilates, yoga, and meditation in one-on-one sessions to people of a variety of backgrounds. She also loves developing workshops for specific groups and needs.
Diana is currently working on several interdisciplinary projects, most of them connected to improving health and awareness through the conscious practice of movement. From teaching technique classes to giving lectures to performing, she has been fascinated by how our human body works and how to tap into the intelligence it holds by making alliances with experts in various fields. This is especially true in her role of co-director for Dance as Social Technology, a study abroad program that will take place in Oaxaca, Mexico during the summer of 2016. Her fellow co-director is UWB faculty member, Carrie Lanza PhD. In this program, students will explore dance through daily embodied practices; participation in community dance settings; and in academic seminars that introduce several key theoretical frameworks for considering dance as an expression of identity, cultural resilience, political resistance, and a form of healing from personal and historical trauma. Dance will also be studied as a means of cultivating joy and well-being in public spaces. In addition to dance, this study abroad experience offers students an opportunity to intensively learn Spanish, practice yoga, learn meditation, and be fully immersed in Mexican culture.
As a co-founder with DAIPANbutoh Colective, Diana has co-organized The Annual Seattle Butoh Festival since 2010. Butoh is an underground body based performing art that emerged in Japan in the 1950s after World War II, which has become a vital global performance genre. Butoh shape-shifts with sensations, emotions, imagination, and a natural flow of movement that takes us beyond the pretty into a deeply authentic present moment. Diana has been studying butoh’s healing and transformative practices since 2005 mainly with Diego Piñon and has been deeply touched by the work of Yukio Waguri, Katsura Kan, and the Japanese troupe Sankai Juku. She has also learned tremendously from Seattle’s butoh front runners and dear collaborators Joan Laage, Sheri Brown, Helen Thorsen, and Kaoru Okomura
At UW Bothell, Diana is also advisor of both the Dance and Hip Hop clubs and she helps organize an annual flash mob at UW Bothell’s campus.
In her future plans, she expects to travel to India to complete her studies in yoga, Vipassana meditation, and Ayurveda. She is in the process of finding the way to travel to the UK to study biotensegrity.
This year Diana will also re-connect with Korean media artist Eunsu Kang, back in 2010 they developed and performed a series of interactive multimedia installations, that now will serve as a platform for the next incarnation of BISIA 283: Digital Movement’s curriculum.
Selected Interdisciplinary Collaborations
Swimming in Media Space: Shin’m 2.0 (2011) Interactive multimedia performance with Korean media artist Eunsu Kang, Seoul Korea and New York City, Dowsan Gallery
MA (2012) multimedia performance, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle WA.
Grandmother Spider, Butoh solo (2014)
Kundalini Stavah, Butoh-inspired solo (2010)
Flash mob (2015) UWB Dance club project, filmed and edited by UWB student Linda Lin
BIAIS 484: Arts Learning in the Community
“I never looked at dance as a huge impact for healing the body and mind before this class.”
“This class challenged my ideas of Western-style therapy, which was the course my career was taking. This class was literally a game changer. I have become more open to conversations about sexuality, feminism, healing, dance, and culture.”
BARTS 161: Introduction to Dance and Mindful Movement Practices
“I really enjoy that we were able to explore other students’ cultures in the form of dance. I also like that we incorporate body communication and a holistic approach to dance as a way to get in better touch with our bodies.”
BISIA 283: Introduction to Art Techniques – Digital Movement
“Hands on activities. Enthusiasm of the instructor. Very organized in terms of class structure."
BISIA 230: Introduction to Art Techniques – Intro to Improvisation
“This class is far from what we normally do in college day in and day out. I've fully appreciated that it pushed students in a way that we had to move beyond our comfort zones and learn to trust and communicate with each other. I often found it had me thinking about social constructs and why we become so disconnected not only from the movement of our bodies but disconnected from each other.”
BISIA 197: Dance and Theater: Body in Action
"It is not the typical dance class where you learn routines and call it a day. This class has made me think how my movements are interpreted by others and this also made me more aware of my body functions. This class also deconstructs our molded way of thinking. This uses thinking outside of the box to think inside the box, if that makes sense. I've learned to use my body in different ways and learned techniques that enhance my movements in terms of flexibility, slow & loud movement, clarity of my movements, improving balance, and being more poised.”