Olivia Claire Rivard started dancing at age 4. She got serious about the art form in college, receiving a BFA in dance and training in Paris at the Studio Harmonic and the Centre de Danse du Marais. Now she’s passionate about her work as a teacher.
Rivard teaches Modern Dance Technique 1 and 2 for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. The 12-week courses familiarize students with the vocabulary of modern dance while exploring concepts of space, time, and energy. Classes begin with floor warmups, then progress to standing exercises and phrases across the floor. Along the way, Rivard helps students develop coordination, physical alignment, and movement flow.
Rivard finds it especially gratifying to teach non-dancers. She believes that students at all levels have something to contribute to the class.
“Everyone comes with a certain knowledge and experience,” she says. “So much of dance, beyond technique, is understanding human emotion. Dance is just another way to tap into it.”
The next sessions of Modern Dance Technique 1 and 2 begin in February. For more information, see the video above or contact Jessica Courtier, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-890-3626. The complete list of dance programs at the Division of Continuing Studies is available here.