Teaching History

Motley is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College teaching Choreography & Improvisation. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Manhattanville College, and Improvisation Faculty for the Certificate Program at Peridance Center. Motley has been on faculty at the Juilliard School’s Summer Dance Workshop in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2013. She has been a Guest Teaching Artist at Snow College; Bowdoin College; SUNY Purchase College, and Lafayette College. Motley has taught Master Classes at Gibney Dance; Dance New Amsterdam; The Playground; Peridance Capezio Center and Centro Dimensione Danza in Italy.

She is a Kane School certified Pilates Mat & Equipment instructor, and uses her knowledge of anatomy and myofascial release to inform her dance teaching. She has been teaching Pilates and exercise privately and in group settings since 2004. Motley has extensive experience teaching exercise and dance to neurological patients including those with Parkinson’s, Alzheimers and Dementia.



How can we disengage from our frequent movement choices and patterns? What kinds of environments, sounds, biomechanics, imagery, language, narratives, and games can we use to assist our improvisational choices? How can we work away from the familiar physical outcome of predetermining our physicality? Informed by composer’s John Cage and John Zorn, we will investigate concepts of chance operations and open score as a means to discovering inventive ways of moving. We will explore detailed rules with no pre-conceived sequence of events, and respond to visual or graphic scores as a way toward improvisational movement. As a group we will investigate and ask questions about connecting the dynamic choices we can make with sound to our bodies. Engaging with Viewpoints for the voice- vocalizations will guide and propel our choices. Ultimately, this course will provide students with innovative improvisational methods to draw from and an improved sense of comfort with risk taking in relationship to movement. We will work toward liberating our creativity.


In this course, students will examine various sources as impetus for movement, such as language, drawing, biomechanics, narrative, environment, restriction and abstraction. The course will reinforce and expand upon choreographic strategies. Through improvisational movement exercises, choreographic assignments, showings and critical dialogue, students will deepen and expand their artistic toolkit, and stimulate their individual creative voice. Readings, and class discussions will encourage a broad understanding of contemporary choreography and the contexts from which dances emerge. Students will work toward developing critical and analytical skills of observation and articulation.

Dance Lecture / Workshops on the Critical Response Process

Developed by choreographer Liz Lerman, the Critical Response Process (CRP) is a four-step, facilitated method for giving and getting feedback on artistic works-in-progress. Creative processes typically require collaboration and feedback from others. Lerman’s tools can be utilized on the job as professional dancer, in collaboration with a choreographer, or giving feedback to your fellow colleagues/ dance company members. In this workshop we’ll learn the principles of CRP interpreted by Motley Dance and experience it in action as we respond to a work-in-progress.