Charlene A. Curtiss

Primary Discipline: Dance

Areas of Specialty: Integrated Dance (disabled and non-disabled), Creative Dance, Wheelchair Dance

Based in: Seattle

Phone: 206.328.0818



Charlene Curtiss, Founder and Director of Light Motion Dance, has been choreographing, performing and teaching integrated dance (disabled and non disabled) since 1985. She has worked as an artist in residence since 1991 and she toured for several years with WSAC’s touring artist program under Dances with Wheels. Curtiss has performed and taught dance at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Centers, as well as in various national and international venues. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, the NBC Today Show, ABC News, CNCB, CNN, PBS, Reuter’s International News and Seattle television stations, KIRO, KING and KOMO. Curtiss’ original dance techniques in "front-end chair control” have redefined the choreographic terminology of integrated dance. Curtiss is also a licensed attorney.

Artist Statement

My purpose as a teaching artist is to share not only the principles of integrated dance, but also to teach concepts of creative dance that will give students an opportunity to find their own unique way of moving. I feel that by sharing my work as an artist I can change students’ attitudes about disability and the potential of disabled people. I want students to learn to dance creatively, to understand disability and integrated movement, to feel confident about performing and to enjoy the experience of dancing. I integrate our work in dance with the current classroom curriculum. Students learn elements of creative dance and then choreograph those elements into a performance that relates to their curriculum. The residency culminates in performances for the school and the students’ families. I believe that creative dance can increase a student’s capacity to learn both within and outside the school environment. Education in the arts produces a strong sense of self, which supports the student’s lifelong development. 


Suitable for Grades: K-12

Preferred Grades: K-5

Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, History, Social Studies, Technology

Additional Interests/Experience:

  • Leading Professional Development workshops for K-12 Teachers
  • Working with at risk students
  • Working with students with special needs / disabilities
  • Working with students who are English Language Learners

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