Department of Theatre

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet

Lecturer in Theatre (Dance)

Office Location

Russell Hall

Phone

(207)780-5480

Academic Degrees

  • M.F.A. Dance, University of Maryland
  • B.F.A. Modern Dance, North Carolina School of the Arts

Profile

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a dance artist and educator based in midcoast Maine. Jessie’s focus on arts in health and improvisational practices has led her to become a Creative Aging Teaching Artist with the Maine Arts Commission, to work closely with the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, MD, and to teach improvisational movement classes to adults with neurodegenerative diseases, healthy older adults, and blind and visually impaired movers. For the past three years, Jessie’s work has intersected closely with IMPROVment®-- a group of dancers and researchers exploring a method of teaching improvisational movement that was developed by Wake Forest University professor Christina Soriano. Jessie’s work with IMPROVment® has focused on teacher education, and on supporting the iMOVE study, which is exploring the effects of improvisational movement and social engagement on people living with mild cognitive impairment. 

For the past four years, Jessie has worked as a Teaching Fellow and Research Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University. Additionally, Jessie has had teaching and creative engagements at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Virginia, Davis and Elkins College, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Dance Exchange, among others. From 2015-2017, Jessie was an organizing artist for On Site/In Sight, a site-situated dance festival that brought artists to Winston-Salem NC, to dance in parks, on rooftops, and in the streets. Jessie’s latest choreographic work, Scale Models, was a site-specific investigation of the landscape and architecture in and around the Scales Fine Arts Center on the Wake Forest campus. 

Since graduating with an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014, Jessie has had the pleasure of dancing for Christina Soriano, Alexandra Beller, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, Dance Exchange, Mansurdance, Heart Stück Bernie, and PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATRE. Jessie is a Stott-certified Pilates teacher through Balance Pilates in Richmond VA, and holds a BFA in modern dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Jessie is currently a Teaching Artist at Colby College and a Lecturer in Dance at the University of Southern Maine.