- Joined Seton Hill
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Contact Info
Shana Simmons graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance in 2003. Simmons lived in New York City for four and a half years and performed with choreographers such as Noemie Lafrance "Agora", Alexandra Beller, Tomé Cousin, bigGRITS dance co, Debra Wanner/ Amy Larimer, Amanda Drozer, and was a company member of white road dance media. Whilst in New York, Simmons was chosen to present work at the HATCH Series twice, through Jennifer Muller Works. Simmons also taught for the Internationally acclaimed National Dance Institute, founded by Jacques D’Amboise, for three years. Simmons holds an MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, England. She performed and choreographed with companies and choreographers such as Flat Feet Dance Company, Stacy Abalogun and Nadine Doran-Holder and independently presented work at the Reverie Dance Festival in Ghent, Belgium. Choreographers in London consistently asked Simmons to create movement for their pieces as part of their process, along with Simmons’ own choreographic works being shown. Simmons collaborated with the visual art company Artmongers, in two site-specific works in London and Simmons has performed her own works in New York City, Belgium, London, Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh. Simmons has presented at APAP, pearlPRESENTS Dance Festival, the Next Stage Residency, SpringUP Dance Festival, New Moves Festival, The Three Rivers Arts Festival, and Evolve Productions. SHANA SIMMONS DANCE(SSD), Shana Simmons Dance (SSD) was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Shana Simmons to create unique and engaging contemporary dance. Simmons is a movement artist who creates immersive dance theatre works that have a heavy focus on research as practice. Each thematic movement exploration roots itself in studio tasks related to socially relevant topics, taking into consideration the physical and emotional experience of the dancer as response to the experimentation. Her work aims to engage the viewer in thoughtful ways, encouraging active participation, and absorbing them into the piece as part of the final meaning of the work. Simmons firmly believes in supporting artistic growth within its company members by encouraging development of their own voices and providing opportunities for outside choreographic voices to be heard. Simmons and SSD have produced a variety of works in Pittsburgh since 2012: Relative Positions (2012), PASSENGER (2014), Objective I (2015), The Missing Peace (2018), ELEVATE (2019). SSD has received support from the Heinz Small Arts Initiative, The Pittsburgh Foundation, PACE Capacity Building, the Kelly- Strayhorn Theater and the National Aviary. In 2021, the company received a $100,000 grant award through the Arts. Equity. Reimagined. Fund for a collaborative project to discuss race and age diversity in dance, generating discussions related to the Pittsburgh dance scene and ways of creating sustainable futures for all types of dancers here in Pittsburgh. Along with this new endeavor, the companies (SSD, Bianca Johnson & Dancers, Chrisala Brown, and XRconnectED) filmed in 360-degree format, creating a new virtual work blending different dance styles, with community at its core center. The company has also created the Constructed Sight Dance Film Festival, an international online film festival which hosts an in-person Opening Night Event, an online Artist Meet & Greet, and an online Dance Film Workshop. Simmons has been commissioned to choreograph for Texture Contemporary Ballet, Indiana University of PA, Point Park University, the VALEES Conference, and Leadership Illinois Conference. Simmons is trained in the Graham technique, has worked with various release based choreographers and teachers, values non-gender based partnering as integral to her choreography, and is trained in various Garuda method pilates/yoga classes. Simmons has been a nominee for the Carol R Brown Award (2016), received Pittsburgh’s Best Dance award (2014, 2015, 2018) and independently teaches within the community as well as part-time faculty at Seton Hill University.
- BA Dance, Point Park University, 2003, MA Choreography, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, 2009 [More Information]
- Garuda Pilates/Yoga Training: Seated & Standing Matwork, Chair [More Information]