Dance Workout: Jillian Davis
Learning Through Art
Dancers performing on a dimly lit stage
Jillian Davis


March 1, 2020


K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Dance/Movement, English Language Arts (ELA), Math/Geometry, PhysEd/Cognitive Skills

Who is dancer Jillian Davis?

Jillian Davis, a Kutztown, PA native began her ballet training at the age of three under the mentorship of Jerzy Golek, Janie Ross-Morgan, and Kip Martin. She studied extensively with Risa Kaplowitz and Susan Jaffe at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Princeton, NJ and attended San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet on scholarship, and LINES Ballet on scholarship. Professionally, Jillian choreographed at Missouri Valley College, developing the Jillian Davis Dance Project in 2013. Her piece, Tiel, was featured at Jennifer Muller’s Hatched Series and was selected as a finalist for Rider University’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase. Jillian joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet as a company member in 2014, where she has been part of the creation process for several Dwight Rhoden world-premieres, including HeadspaceStrumGutter GlitterStardust – a tribute to David Bowie, and Bach 25. She also performed installation works by Desmond Richardson and an excerpt of Approximate Sonata by William Forsythe. Jillian is a faculty member for Complexions Academy Intensives and conducts master classes while the company is on tour. She is in her sixth season with Complexions. IG @Jillange93

Complexions Contemporary Ballet was founded in 1994 by artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. Born of their lifelong appreciation of the beauty and artistry of the multicultural, the two set out to reinvent dance by mixing dance methods, styles, and cultures. Since the founding of Complexions, Rhoden and Richardson have set over 80 works for the Company and toured across the globe with great acclaim. Audiences everywhere ask, “How do you get dancers to move like that?” Their phi­losophy has always encouraged a strong technical foundation, physicality and ver­satility, coupled with an artist’s uniqueness, individuality and passion.

FirstWorks brought Jillian Davis and Complexions Contemporary Ballet to Providence in April 2019 as part of our 15th-anniversary celebration. As part of our Arts Learning program, Jillian visited schools in Providence and Pawtucket to conduct Master Classes for dance programs and Introductory to Movement workshops for non-dance programs. The accompanying workout video is a wonderful introduction to incorporating movement into our daily lives. An outline with suggestions about how students and their families can ease into this practice is included in the accompanying materials. The below videos were produced in partnership with Steer PVD.
Find out more about Complexions Contemporary Ballet and work out with Jillian in the videos below.
Watch: FirstWorks Virtual Learning with Jillian Davis of Complexions Contemporary Ballet - part 1
Watch: FirstWorks Virtual Learning: Work out with Jillian Davis (pt. 2)

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