ZUZI! "Teacher Feature"

Debby Urken

ZUZI! is very excited to introduce you to Debby.  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 Debby.  Also, be sure to visit her website for more information on her personal company and other dance opportunities!

Getting to know Debby.....

How long have you been a part of the ZUZI! family?  I've lost count. At least 10 years, I believe.

What style of dance do you teach?  Somatic Dance, Authentic Movement, and Dance & Art classes. The Dance & Art classes combine somatic movement with visual art, and you don't have to have any art or dance experience to participate! You don't need dance experience for the other 2 classes either!

How long have you been dancing?  A long time!!

Do you reside in Arizona? If not, how did you

learn about ZUZI! Dance? If you do, what draws

you to ZUZI!

Yes, I live in Arizona. I love ZUZI! because

everyone is welcome to come and dance, and

there is a creative vibe at the school.

How do you feel about virtual teaching?

I enjoy virtual teaching. I find some students feel

more comfortable and free dancing in their

own space and therefore can more easily

expand their movement vocabulary and

repertoire. Sometimes the space students have

to move in is limited, but I think taking

virtual classes at home can help students more easily incorporate dance and

movement into their daily lives. I look forward to being back in the studio

together when it's possible, and perhaps also continuing to teach online.

What other hobbies do you have that you would like to share with us?

I enjoy painting, taking photographs, writing, reading, and hiking.

Do you have any pets? If so, what type of pet(s) and what are their name(s)? 

I have one black and white cat named Sylvester. He likes to dance with me

sometimes and sits with me while I paint!

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

I love the fact that nature is so accessible. I don't have to travel far to be completely surrounded by the desert. I love to spend time in the desert, be quiet and still, and take it all in. I love the native plants and animals, the sunny days, and expansive, clear, blue sky.

Why do you feel the Arts, and particularly Dance,

are an important part of life and learning?

I think dancing is one of the most amazing and important things humans can do. It helps us process and express our emotions, as well as develop and maintain body awareness which is critical for engaging in positive, constructive social interactions. Also, when we feel embodied it is easier to learn about people and how the world works.

What do others say about Debby?

"Debby is a beautiful and talented dancer and performer.  Her dance and art classes provide an opportunity to find new ways to move as well as new ways to create visual art.  I have never been an artist - drawing is not my thing!  But in her class, I have really surprised myself by creating drawings that were inspired by movement. She has a calm and gentle way of facilitating the creative process."  ~Claire

"Debby is a beautiful dancer, so light on her feet it looks like she is floating.  As a teacher she is creative, patient and innovative.  It is a delight to dance with her and also under her guidance."  ~Beatriz

"While I have not been a student of Debby’s, I have watched her dance many times and also know her stellar reputation as a somatic healer for adults and children.  I love watching Debby dance. Her movement always draws my eyes and when I see her move,  I experience a sense of calm from the simple elegance of her lines and the powerful way she embraces the spirit of the choreography."    ~Sariya

"I have participated with Debby as my teacher and as a dancer. Her calm and fluid dance seems to come from mindfulness practice." ~ Eileen

"When Debby dances, she easily connects to those around her.  It is easy to see that she also dances from within and joins the energies that are in her space with a lovely grace.  Debby also has the great gift of being able to dance in silence."  ~ Vanessa

Thank you, Debby, 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!

(Debby's Shadow Portraits!​)