Faculty Bios

Our students learn in a welcoming and non-competitive environment from faculty and musicians who are experts in their fields. We invite you to read their bios below!

Faculty 

Gerri houlihan

Gerri Houlihan studied at the Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991-1999 she directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, Florida. During that time, she was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. Ms. Houlihan serves on the Advisory Board for the American Dance Festival. She has been on the faculty of the ADF from 1981-1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in 17 international linkage programs in such countries as Korea, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia, Poland and Russia. She is the recipient of the ADF’s Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She was Co-Dean and then Dean of the ADF School from 2010-2015 and received her MFA from the Hollins/ADF MFA program. She recently retired from Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and is now Professor Emerita. Currently, she teaches at the ADF studios in Durham and is the Artistic Director of the Big Red Dance Project.

TOMMY NOONAN AND MURIELLE ELIZÉON 

Tommy Noonan and Murielle Elizéon are directors, choreographers, and performers currently based in Saxapahaw, NC. Both their individual and collaborative work has been presented extensively throughout Germany, France, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Finland, and Mexico. Most recently, Tommy Noonan’s solo “John” was presented at the American Dance Festival and Murielle Elizéon choreographed the duet “Je suis belle,” comissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Art and co-created with Tommy.

They regularly teach movement and dance both internationally and locally, and are co-directors of Culture Mill, a performing arts laboratory based in Saxapahaw, NC dedicated to fostering creative community and collaboration through artist residencies, educational outreach and original artistic projects. More on Culture Mill at www.culturemill.org.

Meg Poe

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Meg Poe is dedicated to health and happiness through movement and mindful living.  She is a Duke-certified Integrative Health Coach, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and a certified Pilates instructor with a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from UNC-Chapel Hill.   She has been directly involved in educating and training students in the integration of mindful, healthy movement for over 25 years. A dedicated student comments, “Meg is a skillful practitioner herself and a masterful teacher who knows how to create an atmosphere that is relaxed, respectful, meditative, yet informal and fun. There is no pressure to perform or compete – students are free to adapt the exercises, with Meg’s guidance, to their own abilities and needs.” PoeWellnessSolutions.com

Susan Saenger

Susan Saenger is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, a licensed professional counselor in the State of North Carolina, and a certified personal health and fitness trainer (https://www.spryfitnessnc.com/). Susan began dancing when she was just 5 years old and had the formative privilege to be exposed to creative movement at that early age. As a child she spent years studying ballet and modern dance. As an adult she continued her exploration into African Dance, Tai Chi and Yoga. From 1990-1992 Susan performed with Orts Theatre of Dance in Tucson AZ. From 1997-2007, Susan was a member of Choreo Collective, a Triangle-based collective for dancers and choreographers, serving as Treasurer and, later, as Co-Director. She helped produce at least 20 programs of original choreography over 10 years.  In 2011, Susan took the Mark Morris Dance for PD teacher training. She began teaching Dance for Parkinson’s with Lindsay Voorhees in 2014.