Nancy Lyons began dancing as a child in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she first studied ballet then caught the "modern" bug through the inspiration of Elizabeth Waters, former lead dancer with Hanya Holm. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she continued to study and perform. She received her MA in Dance from Mills College in 1968. She has choreographed and performed in the Bay Area and internationally, including Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and Taipei. With Rebecca Fuller, former Chair of the Dance Department at Mills College, she co-authored Openings and Inner Workings. The Moving Box and The Moving Book, resources for movement exploration and dance making. She is Professor Emeritus from Sonoma State University, having retired after more than 40 years of teaching. She continues to stay active in all that she enjoys, including dance, performing most recently at the Amargosa Opera House in the Festival "Live Art in Death Valley."
What about your Mills experience have you continued to benefit from since graduating?
I have continued to benefit from the Mills dance community. Keeping in touch with some of the faculty and students I went to school with has provided me with a rich network of dance colleagues and friends. And staying in touch with Mills dance community as it has continued to evolve has been rewarding and stimulating in delightfully unexpected ways. I am very appreciative of the dance legacy of Mills and of being connected to that legacy.
How has dance helped shape your current work or passions?
Dance has continued in my life as a primary passion and current work over the course of over 45 years since leaving Mills. I was fortunate to be hired at Sonoma State University, becoming the Director of the Dance program, where I was able to shape curriculum, build a program, and teach and mentor scores of students. Dance still thrills me—to watch, to choreograph, to teach and to do.
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