Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a dance artist currently serving as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Wake Forest University. In addition to her teaching and creative work at Wake Forest, Jessie teaches IMPROVment—a method of teaching improvisation to movers of all ages that was developed by dancer and Wake Forest Associate Professor Christina Soriano. Under the direction of Soriano and neuroscientist Christina Hugenschmidt, Jessie is currently working as a co-interventionist on a new NIH-funded study that uses the IMPROVment method to test the effects of improvisational movement on people living with mild cognitive impairment.
Jessie has had teaching and creative engagements at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Virginia, Davis and Elkins College, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Dance Exchange, among others. From 2015-2017, Jessie was an organizing artist for On Site/In Sight, a site-situated dance festival that brought artists to Winston-Salem NC, to dance in parks, on rooftops, and in the streets. Jessie’s latest choreographic work, Scale Models, is a site-specific investigation of the landscape and architecture in and around the Scales Fine Arts Center on the Wake Forest campus. During the fall of 2018, Jessie will be creating a new course on site-dance —the first of its kind at Wake Forest.
Since graduating with an MFA in dance from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014, Jessie has had the pleasure of dancing for Alexandra Beller, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, Dance Exchange, Mansurdance, Heart Stück Bernie, and PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATRE. Jessie is a Stott certified Pilates teacher through Balance Pilates in Richmond VA, and holds a BFA in modern dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts.