About Sarah Gottlieb

Sarah Gottlieb makes dances that draw from sensation, queer-feminism, improvisation, and the body's role in understanding our greater cosmic environment. She is the Artistic Director of BodyCompass Dance Project based in Chicago, and an independent dance-artist currently residing in Madrid, Spain.

Sarah's training includes certification as a Laban Movement Analyst by IMS; extended mentorship with Nana Shineflug, a Chicago-based choreographer who developed a unique training modality focused on the chakras and other elements of the energetic body; advanced studies of Contact Improvisation and other somatic modalities, and her experience studying and performing in Chicago's experimental dance community, as well as at Sarah Lawrence College, and with Horace Brown's Jamaican Dance Troup, Khalidah's North African Dance Experience, and FreeStreet Theater.

Sarah regularly teaches Contact Improvisation (CI) in universities, jams and festivals across the U.S, and was the Artistic Director of the largest regional CI festival GLACIER (2014,2015).

Her work has been named One of Seven Best Dances in Chicago 2015 (Lauren Warnecke, Windy City Times) and supported by DCASE (2014, 2016), the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund (2014), Links Hall Creative Time Sponsorship (2014), and 3Arts (2015). She has performed and toured choreographic work throughout the USA and in Mexico.

Artistic Director

As Artistic Director of BodyCompass Dance Project, Sarah directs collaborative processes that highlight the body’s intelligent navigation through our biological, social, and political worlds.

Laban Movement Analyst

Certified by Integrated Movement Studies in 2014, Sarah uses the Laban/Bartenieff  framework in her teaching, choreography, and movement pedagogy. She offers private sessions that encourage alignment and expressive movement, focusing on rehabilitation and/or artistic expansion.

Teaching Artist

For professional dancers Sarah teaches Contact Improvisation, Compositional Improvisation, Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals and The Conscious Body Method for Energetic Alignment. She also designs movement workshops as a form of activism and community healing focusing on queer populations and survivors of sexual trauma. Her youth classes combine movement, performance art, observational science, and social engagement.

Contact Improvisation

Sarah regularly facilitates the Chicago Contact Improv Jam and works to research and engage in the form through labs, performance, jams, workshops, social theory and pedagogy.

She has been invited to teach CI at Purdue University, DePaul University, Columbia College, The University of Chicago, and at festivals around the country, including the West Coast Contact Improv Jam.

Sarah was honored to serve as the Teaching/ Artistic Director of GLACIER (Great Lakes Area Contact Improvisation Enthusiasts Retreat) in 2014, 2015.

GLACIER (Great Lakes Area Contact Improv Enthusiasts Retreat).

28 Transitions

Teaching Artist

Creative Classes for Youth and Adults

Book a session with Sarah today!


Explores through movement how developmental pathways reflect patterns of personal growth, individualization, and community integration.  Adolescent-Adult 

The Conscious Body

Developed by Nana Shineflug, The Conscious Body material guides students to engage their energetic/auric bodies, align the chakras to the spine, harmonize with the rhythm of gravity, and discover powerfully conscious, dynamic dancing!   

Embodying Evolution

The Bartenieff interpretation of Recapitulation Theory offers a roadmap to explore the evolution of our species through movement and sensation. All ages. 

Scores & Somatics

This workshop approaches somatics through the lens of performance. Dancers are guided to deeply sense internal connection and ease of movement with Feldenkrais and Laban/Bartenieff Fundamentals. Participants will explore the role of the witness and cultivate choice-making methods through improvisational score building. 

My movement practice is anchored in the belief that the human body, when listened to, is a profound navigational tool.  I am also fascinated by bodies as inherently political spaces, and how they carry the influence of history and adaptation.  The dances I devise are crafted to be transformational, to bridge personal and social change, to expose moments of personal growth and ripple outwards.

Sarah Gottlieb, CLMA

Contact Sarah

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