Joanne Petroff

Primary Discipline: Dance

Areas of Specialty: Creative improvisation, Curriculum integration, Mixed ability inclusive dance

Additional Disciplines/Specialties: Collaborations with other artists

Based in: Seattle

Phone: 206.323.0426




Joanne Petroff is co-founder and co-artistic director of Whistlestop, a Seattle based performance and educational modern dance company, critically acclaimed for its work with adults, children, and special needs populations throughout the United States and abroad. She has co-authored several dance education publications and is sought after as a presenter of professional development workshops and educational conferences. She is on the Washington State Arts Commission AIR roster, and has been an artist/mentor for Arts Impact for over a decade. She is currently a dance specialist for the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, and was a member of the Powerful Schools teaching team for many years. She has recently begun co-teaching a dance class for persons with Parkinson's disease and is an instructor for the DANCE FOR PD® PROGRAM managed by Seattle Theatre Group.  Joanne performs and choreographs with Light Motion, a dance company established to develop artistic expressions of both disabled and non-disabled artists. She has been instrumental in bringing integrated wheelchair dance to the forefront of new trends in dance.

Artist Statement

As a teaching artist I expose students to the joy and excitement of movement, teach them about creating dances and help them learn about the creative process. I teach dance through accessible, energetic, non-competitive movement activities that challenge students to discover new realms of creativity and expression. Students learn about the elements, techniques and skills of dance, as well as some of its historical and cultural aspects. They also choreograph and perform dances, using the performances to communicate knowledge from other areas of their classroom curriculum. I employ diverse teaching approaches that meet the needs of different learning styles. I also offer the classroom teacher strategies for using a kinesthetic learning model.


Suitable for Grades: K-12

Preferred Grades: K-5

Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, History, Social Studies, Other Arts Disciplines

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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