About images

Kyle Ayers is a multi-disciplinary body-based artist originally hailing from Champaign, Illinois who holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa and a BA in Theatre from Illinois State University. Prior to arriving in Iowa City, he served as the Director of the Dance Arts Conservatory for the Champaign Park District, a public dance program that offers training in various genres and styles. As a driven pedagogue, he pays particular attention to healthy anatomical function and longevity of the dancing body. His teaching practices are primarily situated within classical Modern and he is deeply invested in the principles of Limón technique. He has been privileged to attend a Limón Teachers Workshop which allowed him space to explore the technique with master teachers Kurt Douglas and Kristen Foote through the Limón Foundation in New York City. Additionally, Kyle teaches Jazz dance classes in which he endeavors to blend the vocabularies and stylings of classical and theatrical jazz with the Africanist aesthetics that lie at the heart of the jazz movement tradition.

Kyle was selected as one of the inaugural Emerging Choreographers for NewDANCEfest in 2017, an intensive sponsored by Eisenhower Dance Detroit where he was invited to devise and stage his original choreographic work “Tremor” on the participants. Utilizing his background in theatre performance, Kyle's choreographic style often uses character work, idiosyncratic patterns, and exaggerated pedestrianisms to develop narrative structures for the stage. As a performer, he has had the opportunity to work with many choreographers across the country including Sara Semonis, Darby Wilde, Gregory Merriman, Jennifer Harge, Michael Richman, Tiffanee Arnold, Brian McGinnis, BAIRA/MVMT PHLOSPHY, Jim Moore, Greg Lagola, and Carol Abohatab.

In the summer of 2022, Kyle presented his workshop “Parts in Motion: Embodying Your Personality Network” at the 8th Annual Somatic Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Geneva, NY. The workshop was an experiential presentation on a movement methodology he devised by intersecting imagery techniques from psychotherapy with embodied improvisation. In September, he was invited to New Orleans for WGIcon, the official convention of Winter Guard International. There he gave a presentation titled “Feedback as a Tool for Empowerment and Motivation” which discussed practices of self-reflexivity in teaching. Attendees were led through common pedagogical missteps and were presented with alternative strategies and considerations for providing students with corrections and critique in ways that leave them feeling ready to succeed.

Kyle’s other interests include instruction and visual design for marching band. He has worked extensively as a color guard director and designer, coaching several rural teams in central Illinois to multiple winning titles. His choreography has been seen at Unity High School, Hoopeston Area High School, St. Joseph-Ogden High School, and Illinois State University. He has participated with Drum Corps International in the Open Class division in 2011, and most recently was a cast member with the Bluecoats Indoor winter guard in 2018, who performed in the WGI World Championship Finals in Dayton, Ohio.

Research Interests

  • Psychology as a locus for movement generation
  • Dance as an internal or spiritual practice
  • Object-based movement
  • Dance pedagogy and administration

Courses Taught

  • Beginning Modern
  • Beginning Jazz
  • Continuing Jazz
  • Dance Kinesiology

"The only way to do it is to do it."
- Merce Cunningham