Ann Pelaez Owner/Director
I am the founder of Spirals. I built it to be an artistic, challenging, and exciting place for young people to learn the discipline and joy of dance in all it’s variations and styles. Concert dance is a rich format for storytelling, and choreography is magic. After a beautiful and fulfilling decade on the East Coast, I've moved Spirals to the fabulous city of Santa Fe to begin a new chapter of creativity and collaboration with dancers of all ages. I believe it's important to empower and push young adults to understand and express their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual points of view: teaching not just to dance in a particular style, but to choreograph, adjudicate, problem-solve, develop critical awareness, and most of all grow positive creative habits of mind and body. Drawing inspiration from the archetypal spiral, most of my art and teaching is based on organic forms and principles which connect us to our own origins and innate creativity.
I have choreographed, staged, and produced over 300 dance pieces for:
Spirals Dance Studios - Amesbury MA, Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios - North Andover MA, Escuela Campo Alegre - Caracas Venezuela, The New Hampton School - New Hampton NH, Plymouth State University Summer Dance Intensive - Plymouth NH, Newbury Elementary School, Masconomett Regional High School, The River Valley Charter School, The Sparhawk School, TTS Players, The Breadloaf School of English Theater, The Dance Company of Middlebury College, Phillips Andover Academy, The Dance Barns - Santa Fe NM
Merrimack Valley Academy of Dance, 1976-78
Nancy Chippendale’s School of Dance, 1978-1980
Phillips Andover Academy Ballet Program, 1980-1983
I was accepted into the Dance Company of Middlebury as a Sophomore 1984-85, the youngest of 5 members under Andrea Olsen. We toured such pieces as Bill Evans original work Grounded Ascent, and Andrea Olsen’s Heartstrings, as well numerous student works through California. I studied with many guest artists, notably Judith Jameson of Alvin Ailey, and Kai te KaiAfter devoting my Junior year to choreography, books, and study at the Instituto Internacional de Madrid, Spain; I was invited to the BreadLoaf School of English Lincoln College, Oxford as an undergraduate to begin my post-graduate study of literature and writing. I rejoined the Dance Company of Middlebury as a senior in 1986-87 in it’s second year with director Penny Campbell and artist in residence Peter Schmitz. We toured performance improvisation throughout Northern New England in Collaboration with Bennington College improvizational Jazz musicians in one of the most life-changing and dance-defining years of my life. Read: How Modern Dance Took Root in Vermont.
BA Middlebury College 1987: English Literature, Spanish, Dance Company of Middlebury
MA Middlebury College 1992: English Literature, Writing
Instructor, Nancy Chippendales Dance Studios 1998-2000
Established Spirals Dance Studio 2002
I’ve mentored in many settings all my life, and am mother to a son in college and daughter in middle-school. My formal experience is as a high-school teacher of English and Spanish at The New Hampton School, NH 1988-90. In New Hampshire I choreographed for NHS students and danced collaboratively with Joane Wiegers and students. I ran a dormitory for girls, recreational skiing, the school newspaper, and Spanish club.
I joined the English faculty of Escuela Campo Alegre, in Caracas Venezuela 1990-92, and taught poetry, writing, and literature to multi-lingual adolescents by day; and learned salsa, merenge, cumbia in all the fun places on weekends. My favorite dance experience in Venezuela was Flamenco lessons in Ma Belle’s inner city kitchen.
I received my MA from Middlebury’s Breadloaf School of English in 1992, after devoting summers (5 total) to intensive reading, essaying, acting, and discussing our classrooms.
In addition to teaching Dance in Santa Fe, NM, I have taught IB Spanish at Desert Academy, and currently teach English Language Arts Grade 8 full time at Capshaw Middle School. I hold a NM Secondary School 7-12 teaching license.
TEACHING DANCE TO YOUNG CHILDREN & ADULTS
Returning to Boston from South America, I became a Spanish interpreter in the courts of Greater Boston, gaining intimate experience with Spanish speaking immigrants from Central America, the Caribbean Islands, South America, and Mexico. I danced at Jeanette Neill Dance Studios and performed for Bryan Steele and Andy Taylor-Blenis in adult repertory.
I returned to NH as a guest choreographer for 2 years at the Plymouth State Summer Dance Intensive, collaborating with my former English student, the brilliant jazz bassist, Pancho Tomaselli to create a suite of dances, among them LunaSol.
Returning to my roots in my hometown, I joined the staff of Nancy Chipendale’s Dance Studios. I taught pre-school, elementary, young teen, boys and adults tap ballet and jazz until I had my daughter, Nina, in 2000. I opened Spirals in 2002.
Awards & Accolades for Spirals
Class Act Studio, New York City Dance Alliance 2011 Boston Regionals: Awarded Critics Choice top 11, Outstanding Choreography (3), High Score Teen Ballet, Outstanding Showmanship, Outstanding Concept (3), Outstanding Staging (2), Outstanding Costume, Platinum, Student Scholarship
Outstanding Concepts, Entertainment, Costume, Platinum & Gold, Elite Performance Challenge MA 2012, 2011
Platinum & Gold, Spirit of Dance Awards RI 2010
Overall Regional Winner, Best Choreographer, Dare to Be Different Winner, Choreographer's Top 5 (2), Platinum & High Gold Cathy Roe's Ultimate Dance Competition MA 2009: Best Choreography, Dare to Be Different Award, Choreographers Top 5 (3)2008 Eye Candy (Best Costume and Use of Fabric), NJ 2007
Beyond Spirals - Dance in New Mexico
NDI - NM I currently teach a wide variety of classes at The Dance Barns in Santa Fe: Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Ballet 1+, Teen Ballet 1 & 2, Tap 2, Tap 3/4, Wallace Annenberg Summer Institute, and SWAT Tap.