Susan Hefner maintains a private practice in neuromuscular training. She trained intensively with renowned neuromuscular trainer Irene Dowd for 15 years, and was Irene’s teaching assistant for 10 of those years. She taught Anatomy and Kinesiology in the Dance Program at Hunter College for 10 years, and in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program for 3 years. She has also taught at Movement Research, the Limon Institute, Long Island University, West Side Dance Physical Therapy, Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon, Groundfloor Pilates, Yoga Union, L’Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexico, and the International Summer School of Dance in Tokyo.
A life in dance has contributed great understanding to Susan’s practice as a neuromuscular trainer. She began performing dance at the age of 16 in concerts of pure improvisation with a diverse community of interactive artists in Birmingham, Alabama. She received a BA from Goddard College in Vermont. She was invited to join Nikolais Dance Theatre in 1983, and toured worldwide, earning solo roles and serving as the dancers’ union representative. In 1989, she formed Susan Hefner and Dancers, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring, provoking and educating audiences through dance and performance. Over the years she has created works and performed at many venues in New York City, Europe and elsewhere.
Like many dancers, Susan has been challenged by injuries, and began study with Irene Dowd in 1991 to address chronic issues in her spine. In the process of rebuilding muscle and regaining function (when for years other modalities had failed), she became engrossed in learning all that the famous anatomist could impart. Her study with Irene has given her a wide range of skill in anatomy, kinesiology, movement problem-solving, designing individual movement programs, and visual assessment. It is Susan’s great joy that she is able to pass on the knowledge and benefits to others, whether it is an issue of chronic pain and dysfunction, or simply maintaining general fitness and well-being.
Copyright © . Photographs by Maria Levitsky.