Ilana moved to Kansas City from DC in the Spring of 2017. In DC, she was a resident artist for Georgetown Hospital’s Arts and Humanities Program where she focused on applying dance in practical ways to improve quality of life. At the hospital, she guided oncology and palliative care patients through relaxing imagery, led staff and caregivers in short stretching breaks, and taught trauma-sensitive yoga classes. As a Bodywise Dance teaching artist, she provided Shibashi Tai Chi classes at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has taught dance and meditation, contact improvisation, composition and contemporary dance while on faculty at The George Washington University Theatre and Dance Department, Joy of Motion Dance Center, and Dance Place. She has also been a guest artist at Desales University, Whitman College, and University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, is a teaching artist with Arts & AGEing KC and has presented at PAINS-KC and the InterUrban ArtHouse. She holds certificates in Healing Physical and Emotional Trauma, Balancing Mood, and Seniors from Yogafit. Ilana earned an MFA in Dance from The George Washington University, and a BA in Dance and Environmental studies from Denison University. Ilana is a certified Cancer Exercise Specialist. Ilana is passionate about making dance accessible to all and facilitating insightful conversation about art.
While working on her BA degree, she studied Ecology, Community and Spirituality in France and India under Wim Aspeslagh. Concurrently, she first experienced contact improvisation in a workshop led by Chris Aiken, Peter Bingham, and Andrew Harwood and has since dived into the genre and studied with other masters in the field. Under the guidance of Gill Wright Miller, she investigated spirituality and movement in her senior thesis entitled Mindfulness: An Approach to Moving.
As a graduate student, Ilana explored the performativity of gender through her thesis, SAM, A Multilayered Dance Persona: The Invention of the Performer in Contemporary Dance. Under the guidance of Dana Thai Soon Burgess. Maida Withers, and Sharon Mansur, she completed her first evening-length solo performance and honed her personal choreographic style.
Ilana Silverstein is a founding bandmember of Tia Nina, along with Leah Curran Moon and Lisi Stoessel. Ilana found her way into the professional arts community through Fieldwork and served as The Field/DC Director for 10 years and the Field Network Manager for 1.5 years. She has studied and performed modern dance and improvisation in Ohio, India, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Washington. Ilana has been presented by the Capital Fringe Festival, Philly Fringe Festival, Gaia in Washington DC, and the Source Festival. She has performed with John Moletress, Dance Box Theater, Daniel Burkholder, Yoko K. and other artists in the D.C. area.
Ilana has worked for a number of arts organizations including the Denison University Dance Department, Links Hall in Chicago, Earthdance in western Massachusetts The Boston Mayors office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, The Association of Performing Arts Professionals, and Dance Place. While working with Carla Perlo at Dance Place, Ilana received a National Performance Network Community Fund grant in Mentorship and Leadership to research best practices in non-profit arts organizations across the country. The Creative Communities Fund and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities have funded her work as both an artist and a community organizer.
Ilana encourages artists and audiences to dive into the creative process to produce the best work possible.