Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez
Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez (BFA, EdM) has a multifaceted career involving performance, dance education, activism and community organizing and it has taken her throughout the US, Colombia, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Canada and Mexico. She has ample experience in a wide variety of dance styles as a performer and educator, and her work is characterized by the exploration of issues such as relationship, gender, race, identity, awareness, kinesthetic listening and touch. Sandra Paola uses collaborative improvisation to foster human development and community building, blending elements from Ensemble Thinking, Contact Improvisation, Social Therapeutics, Vipassana meditation, Action Theater and Improv Theater. She has studied and/or performed with Kirstie Simson, Jennifer Monson, Ruth Zaporah, Guillermo Gomenz-Peña, the Lower Left collective, among others. Sandra Paola has developed a strong commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinary improvisation and is currently a member of Koan - an interdisciplinary improvisation ensemble with Grammy-nominated saxophonist Mack Goldsbury. Driven by her passion for social justice, she co-founded and directs in2improv - an organization that empowers underserved populations through improvisation and performance.
Originally form Bogota, Colombia, Sandra Paola moved to the US in 2004 to pursue her dance career and since then has acquired a BFA in Dance Performance with Psychology and Religious Studies minors (the latter focused in Buddhism) from Missouri State University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an Aesthetic Education focus from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also completed a certificate program in Social Therapeutics – a radically humanistic approach to human development and community building that relates to people of all ages and life circumstances as social performers and creators of their lives – at the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy in New York City were she continuously trains and grows her practice as a performance activist. Sandra Paola has taught widely in both formal and non-formal education settings including the prestigious dance department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival. She has presented at national and international conferences, including TEDx El Paso, and is currently faculty in the dance program at the University of Texas at El Paso.