ZUZI! "Teacher Feature"

Karenne Koo!

ZUZI! is very excited to introduce you to Karenne.  Our Teachers are very important to us and, of course, key to continuing our Mission. Please take a minute to read this short, fun interview with Karenne.  Also, be sure to visit her websites for more information on her personal company and other dance opportunities!

Getting to know Karenne.....

How long have you been a part of the ZUZI! family?  I have been part of the ZUZI! Dance family since 2015. It was a happy day that I found my way to ZUZI! Dance, first as a student of dance, then as a ZUZI! dancer, then as a teacher.

What style of dance do you teach?  I teach Creative Group Dance, a form of communal dance improvisation inspired by the free approach to body movement pioneered by Barbara Mettler.

How long have you been dancing?  I have been dancing since I was a child. My first actual dance class was a Graham Technique class when I was in college. My earlier dance training was in Modern, Jazz and Ballet. Now I am having so much fun exploring movement expressions through creative dance improvisation.​

Do you reside in Arizona?

If not, how did you learn about ZUZI!

Dance? If you do, what draws you to

ZUZI!

Yes, I am happily living in Tucson! I

love the warmth and openness

offered by ZUZI! Dance. There is a

sense of family and community when

one steps through the doors...and

every individual knows that they are a

valued member of the community.

How do you feel about virtual teaching?  Initially I was resistent to virtual dance classes as I thought it would be difficult to replicate the sense of connection that is so much a part of creative group dance. Then I realized that we have to let go of our preconceptions because the virtual world offers a completely different dance experience. It is absolutely possible to find connections with each other through our Zoom boxes. Certainly it's different, but it's also interesting and fun! In addition, technology has opened up unique opportunities for people from diverse communities to come together in a shared digital space. This has been a joyful discovery.

What other hobbies do you have that you would like to share with us?  You mean other than DANCE? haha I enjoy reading a good fantasy or sci-fi novel. I love listening to some hard-hitting screaming heavy metal music. I love cuddling with my cats. (oh and my hubby too)

Do you have any pets? If so, what type of pet(s) and what are their name(s)?  My two beautiful kitties: Memphis and Merry! My furbabies.

What is your favorite thing about the city in which you live?

I moved to Tucson from New York. I love the artistic quirkiness of

Tucson. The people have been so kind and welcoming, making

me feel completely at home from the beginning. I also love the

feeling of community that is here...and the fact that it is so easy

to contribute to and be part of the community.

Why do you feel the Arts, and particularly Dance,

are an important part of life and learning?

The Arts provide meaningful experience of joy, awareness,

cooperation growth and learning. Movement, dance and the

Arts are key ways human beings communicate and connect with

one another. When we dance together, we are communicating on a level beyond spoken words. Understanding and acceptance of each other's similarities and differences can happen in an authentic, relaxed and safe environment.

What is something you have learned during the last year that you wouldn't mind sharing?

- I have learned not to be afraid to learn! I have learned so much about myself and how I respond to challenges.

- I have also learned not to be afraid of technology.

- Keep the mind open...embrace changes...be compassionate through challenging times....don't forget to send those virtual hugs to people.

What do others say about Karenne?

"Karenne's intense love for dance combined with her passion to provided guidance and encouragement has always inspired me to push beyond my limits because she believes in all you will accomplish."  ~Aja

"Karenne is incredibly good at "reading the room" - she notices people's movements and energy and responds in her teaching so that everyone feels noticed and represented in the dance.  She shares so much joy and excitement that you cannot help but have fun in her classes!"  ~Sabrina

"What first struck me most about Karenne is her kind and gentle energy.  She is simply a lovely human being.  She is also a beautiful dancer; she dances from her soul.   ~Vanessa

"Karenne is a generous and creative colleague, with a wise serenity that is assuring to all those around her."                                                                                                                                                                           ~ Beatriz

 

I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Karenne for over 3 years.  She has been a voice for movers and humans of all abilities and lifestyles.  As a mover, her sensitivity and improvisational expertise shines. The projects we have envisioned together have brought new depth to ZUZI! shows and classes.  I am honored and inspired to know, dance and create with Karenne!

Thank you, Karenne, for being a part of the ZUZI! family.

We are very lucky you have chosen to teach with us and most importantly, we thank you for being an inspiration to all!

Karenne dancing with Tuffy (left) and Beau (right)