Dr. Matthew Henley, MFA Dance alumnus and Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas Woman's University, is gathering data to advocate for the value of dance as an intellectual practice—and build a framework for how to describe dance intelligence to non-dancers. His work was recently mentioned in Dance Magazine. Dr. Henley completed the M.F.A. in dance at the University of Washington in 2010, and in 2013, completed the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Learning Sciences and Human Development at the UW. His dissertation investigated perceptual-cognitive skills associated with dance. His research, more broadly, focuses on the relationship between movement and the brain, the role of the body in cognition and idea expression, and the cognitive and social-emotional benefits of an arts education. Dr. Matthew Henley received a B.A. in religious studies and B.F.A. in dance at the University of Arizona where he studied with Dr. John M. Wilson. While in Tucson, Matt worked with Orts Theater of Dance, an aerial modern dance company. After graduating in 2001 he moved to NYC and began working with Randy James Dance Works for whom he taught extensively throughout the NJ and NY public school systems. In 2004, Matt became a member of the Sean Curran Company where he danced until moving to Seattle in 2008.
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