I found improvisation by accident. I was seeking deep engagement in the moment—in the form of a dance class—and happened into a college dance program at Middlebury College, in Middlebury, VT, where improvisation is foundational to every aspect of the curriculum. As a prospective student, I remember going to watch a dance class, expecting to see something familiar to me, such as jazz or ballet. What I had happened upon, however, was improvisation.
Interview with Rachel Thorne Germond.
I started dancing in my room with the door closed to Madonna as a child at the age of 12 or 13. My family lived in Tallahassee (FL), and I did gymnastics growing up. When I went to the University of Florida I studied Psychology. I was always interested in dance, so I took my first dance class there. I fell in love with it. It was something that I always wanted to do but I had been a little scared to try.
Accidentally! I moved here from Minneapolis in 1968 where I had been teaching at the University of Minnesota. To make a living I taught in several locations--sometimes five in one day. One of my students recommended me to the theatre director at Columbia who invited me to teach a dance class.
An interview with CAR Researcher Rachel Thorne Germond
I took slides of the plays at the Station Theater in Champaign, IL. One of the plays featured a dance professor at the University of Illinois. She liked me and the work I'd done for the Station Theater, so she introduced me to the dance department. I had taken modern dance for fun during school, but I'd never photographed dance or even considered it until she asked me.