Ellie Kusner is a teacher, researcher, writer, and “Bessie” award-winning performer. Born in Massachusetts, she began her performing career as a student of the Boston Ballet School, dancing with the company in numerous large-scale productions. However, she ultimately determined that pointe shoes were not her destiny and studied modern dance at Barnard College before embarking on a freelance performance career. She has worked with choreographers including Mark Morris, Pam Tanowitz, Ellen Cornfield, Nilas Martins, and Patricia Hoffbauer in venues ranging from warehouse rooftops to the Metropolitan Opera.
Kusner holds an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban, London, and with expertise in this interdisciplinary field, she explores and implements evidence-based teaching practices to enhance the learning, health, and performance of dancers. She has taught dance, anatomy, and Pilates at institutions including Hofstra University, American Ballet Theater’s JKO School, Boston Ballet, Barnard, New York Theatre Ballet, Slippery Rock University, Mark Morris Dance School, Gallim, and Trinity Laban. She teaches Pilates to dancers at Juilliard and to the public in the Wellness Center at the Mark Morris Dance Center.
Kusner also leads wellness workshops for dancers and is the co-host of DanceWell Podcast, a resource dedicated to exploring 360 degrees of health and wellness for dancers. She is the founder and director of the Stability Project, a Pilates teacher-training program exclusively for college dance majors. Additionally, she has written about dance and wellness for Dance Teacher and Pointe magazines and chairs the Dance Educators’ Committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.