Olsen has created nature-based dances, toured, and taught internationally over the

past four decades. She has collaborated with celebrated composers on full-evening

works, including David Darling, Peter Jones, and Mike Vargas. As professor of Dance at

Middlebury College in Vermont, she has held the John Elder Professor in Environmental

Studies and served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Middlebury’s International

Institute in Monterey. She currently holds a joint appointment on both Middlebury

campuses. This spring, she is visiting professor at Mount Holyoke College in


Olsen has performed as a solo artist and with the touring company Dance Gallery

since l972, presenting original choreography in Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, and

throughout the United States. She is author of a trilogy of books on the body, The Place

of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making (2014), Body and Earth: An

Experiential Guide (2003); and Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy, with

colleague Caryn McHose. She is a contributing editor to the Contact Quarterly dance

journal, and teaches annual Body and Earth international training programs with McHose

in New Hampshire and Great Britain. She has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar in New

Zealand, working with Maori, Cook Island, and Samoan dancers, and has taught at many

of the major dance festivals in the United States, including the American Dance Festival,

Bates Dance Festival, and the Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation. Her work in

somatics and in the Discipline of Authentic Movement has been presented at the Kripalu

Center for Yoga and Health, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, The Sophia

Institute, and numerous colleges and private studios. She is on the Board of Directors of

A.P.E. in Northampton, Massachusetts and has premiered over forty works through their

support. Olsen has received numerous grants, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar

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