Rhode Island
Profile Type: Artist
Cathy Nicoli

Cathy Nicoli is Associate Professor of Dance at Roger Williams University as well as an independent choreographer, teacher and certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst.

Cathy received her MFA in Dance on a teaching fellowship at Smith College. Her certification as a Movement Analyst and Bartenieff Fundamentals TM teacher was earned through Lesley University’s Expressive Therapies Program and the Laban/Bartenieff TM Institute of Movement Studies. Cathy’s education in human developmental movement directly influences her technique classes and teaching philosophy. Cathy is also trained by the Mark Morris Dance Company to teach dance for Parkinson’s populations – in 2011, she held a standing weekly class at Cheshire Hospital, NH.

Cathy’s collaboration with screendance artist Chris Lewis Smith (Bath Spa University, UK), To Be Watched While Eating an Orange, won the Jury’s Selection Award at the 2018 Courant 3D Film Festival, France. She is a two-time recipient of the RI State Council of the Art’s Choreography Award and the RI Foundation's Arts Education Scholarship. Cathy has performed her choreography at the Kennedy Center, London’s National Theater, and in Ben Folds Five’s MTV video Underground – of which she was also assistant choreographer. She was co-artistic director of the Providence-based Groundwerx Dance Theatre for six years, an original member of Heidi Henderson’s elephant Jane dance, and the director of Bearnstow’s art and nature day camp for children.

Cathy has taught at Bath Spa University, Stockholm’s Ballet Academy, Brown University, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, Keene State College, Smith College, and Amherst College. She was Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Hampshire College 2005-2008, where she earned the Project Pericles Civic Engagement Course Development Award based on the social impact and civic engagement of her course Moving Memoirs: Composing Yourself With Choreography. Also at Hampshire, she spent her last year as Interim Director of the Dance Program.

Now at Roger Williams University, Cathy’s aim is to train adaptable, healthy, and individually distinct dancers – while also bridging dance to other professional disciplines and campus initiatives, many involving social justice and equity issues. Since 2012, Cathy has designed 9 new courses, 17 independent studies, and two-long standing community partnerships – one with the Silent Witness National Initiative and RWU’s Title IX Office, the other with LIFE Inc., a local agency dedicated to the advocacy and empowerment of adults with developmental disabilities. She has also choreographed 14 original concert works for RWU Dance Theatre Company, and has earned several university grants for her scholarship, teaching, and choreography.  Cathy has been nominated several times for Excellence in Teaching Awards – earning a place within the top 5 nominated teachers of 2016. She also served administratively as Interim Chair of Performing Arts for the Dance and Performance Studies, Theatre, and Music Programs.

Cathy is available for teaching and choreographic residencies, as well as collaborations with other artists and organizations.

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Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher
Mailing Address: 
Dance and Performance Studies
Roger Williams University, 1 Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809
Physical Address: 
Dance and Performance Studies Roger Williams University, 1 Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - General
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Populations Served: 
General Public
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Community Arts
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region