Brianna Jahn

Instructor of Dance

Brianna Jahn received her B.F.A. in Dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the Honors College and her M.F.A. in Dance and Certificate in College Teaching from the University of Arizona.

At SUNY Buffalo, Jahn developed a sense of what is possible through art-making. She was introduced to modern dance techniques and the study of anatomy which shaped the way she approaches movement creation, and teaching, from an expressive, yet anatomically sound perspective. Her professor Tom Ralabate’s research of vernacular jazz movements, and knowledge of Giordano, Luigi and Mattox styles/techniques influenced the historical perspective from which Jahn approaches jazz dance. Her ballet study was informed by multiple perspectives: Cecchetti, Vagonava and Balanchine traditions as well as a somatic approach to classical movement. As a member of Zodiaque Dance Company she performed works by Jon Lehrer, Anne Burnidge, Cathy Allen, Matt Pardo, Kerry Ring and Tressa Gorman-Crehan. Jahn was also inspired by residency and intensive study opportunities with Giordano Dance Chicago, Urban Bush Women, Jump Rhythm Jazz, HT Chen and Dancers and Taylor 2.

In 2011 Jahn became adjunct faculty at SUNY Buffalo and taught at private studios. She performed with the contemporary ballet company Configuration Dance Theatre under the direction of Joseph Cipolla, and was a founding member, and guest choreographer, in Hayley Sunshine’s contemporary jazz dance company Converge Dance Buffalo. Realizing her passion for teaching in higher education, she found her next home in Tucson, AZ in the University of Arizona’s School of Dance M.F.A. program.

Graduate School was transformative for Jahn. Three professors at U of A who particularly continue to shape the way Jahn approaches her work are Douglas Nielsen, Michael Williams and Amy Ernst. Nielsen often said, “I know something, and you know something else”, a statement that empowered his students to question and learn without fear. The charismatic Williams caused Jahn to approach jazz dance from a more musical place. Ernst’s example of excellence, and mentorship in all areas, has proved invaluable to Jahn who often thinks “what would Amy do?” in any number of situations. Jahn graduated in May 2015 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance, with emphases in both performance and choreography.

Since graduate school, Jahn studied and taught at Body Works Pilates, Kyria Sabin's studio, and the international headquarters for the Fletcher Pilates® Program of Study. She is a fully qualified Fletcher Pilates® teacher who developed the Fletcher Pilates® for Cyclists program with the nationally renowned El Grupo cycling troupe. This study, along with her interest in anatomy, biomechanics, kinesiology and the Alexander Technique has improved her ability to effectively teach to each dancer's unique body structure and needs. She is interested in research that increases the longevity of dancers' careers and feels that the study of mind-body connections is crucial to preserving the integrity of an artist's work.

As a choreographer, Jahn is inspired by other art forms, artists and travel. Her work is often collaborative, crossing artistic disciplinary boundaries by incorporating film, poetry and site-specific elements. Rather than presenting a clear narrative, she is most interested in designing a moving picture that expresses a theme or concept from multiple angles.

In Fall 2016, Jahn was thrilled to join the faculty of the Southern Miss Department of Dance where she has the opportunity to do everything she loves most: teach a variety of subjects to passionate adults (modern, ballet, jazz, social dance, dance & technology, dance appreciation, performance project, improvisation, dance conditioning), choreograph for multiple venues with talented students, and perform and choreograph as a guest artist with HUB Dance Collective.