MotionArt was founded in 2013 by Pam Gleason and Diane Moncrieff
Pam Gleason has been creating, teaching and performing dance for over 35 years. From the mid 1980s to 2011 she was involved with the Nancy Hauser Dance Company/Hauser Dance as an apprentice, company member, teacher and choreographer. She has taught, performed and presented her work in many Twin City venues, several US cities, in Taiwan and Japan, and in Russia (as a guest of Link Vostok). She has choreographed over 40 pieces, 8 theater productions, and her work has been supported by grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Commission. As a teacher of dance, Pam combines sound biomechanical instruction with encouragement to explore and push creative boundaries to give dancers of all ages and abilities an enriching, fun and healthy experience. She believes that inside every person, a dancer is lurking and hopes to free as many of those dancers as she can!
Pam grew up in St. Paul where her dance training began at age 4, down in her basement in front of the TV. The Dancing Bear on Captain Kangaroo was her teacher. From there, she graduated upstairs to the living room where she choreographed dances to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Her first official class, a jazz class, was at Chimera Theater, and as a teenager, she enjoyed a variety of dance classes throughout the Twin Cities. As a student of Dance Therapy at the UW-Madison, she became enlightened to the body/mind connection and was introduced to German Expressionism, embracing the study of improvisation, choreography and pedagogy. Being interested in promoting total health and wellness, she graduated with a BS in Community Health Education, with minors in Psychology and Dance. After living in San Francisco, where she worked as a fitness trainer and danced as much as she could, Pam attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota and received her MA in Kinesiology. Her research focused on modern dancers’ hip flexibility and injury patterns. Before moving back to the Twin Cities, she spent some time at the Nikolais school in New York where she was encouraged to study with Nancy Hauser (whose dance company was conveniently located on the U of MN campus). Pam immediately felt at home within this aesthetic and thus began her tenure with Hauser dance where she was given ample opportunities for creative growth and exploration by Nancy Hauser and Heidi Jasmin.
Pam continually seeks ways to promote both the art and the health of the body in motion. She is a fully certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer. She taught Kinesiology, Pilates and Modern Dance in the U of MN Dance Dept, she was a faculty member in the PE Dept. at North Hennepin Community College, a Health Educator for the Dept. of Epidemiology at the U of MN and has been a guest artist at five Midwest colleges. She enjoys the outdoors and spends her spare time in the garden, on her bike, in the lakes, in the snow banks and with her wonderful husband and 2 teen-aged sons (who incidentally, have also danced in the living room!).
Diane Moncrieff has studied dance, taught, choreographed and performed for more than 40 years. In 1991, she began a long, creative association with the Nancy Hauser Dance Company and School, later known as Hauser Dance. From 1991 to 2011, this rich tradition of modern dance training with its roots in German Expressionism became her focus, first as an apprentice and later as a teacher, choreographer and company member. In the wood-floored studios above Burch Pharmacy in South Minneapolis, she embraced technical training, the practice of improvisation and the craft of making dances, primarily under the tutelage of artistic director Heidi Jasmin. During the Hauser years, Diane received a K-6 Teaching Credential from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She also took two brief intermissions from Minneapolis, first living in Idaho where she completed graduate work in Dance Pedagogy at the University of Idaho, and then living in Duluth, MN, where she directed DanceWorks Creative Dance Center.
Originally from California, Diane began dancing as a child, improvising in the living room to her parents’ record albums. She experienced her first formal dance classes in jazz dance with Hollywood performer and choreographer Marie Stinnett. At Los Gatos High School, amazingly enough, modern dance was a PE option, so she opted to dance as a junior and senior. Diane attended University of Montana and Humboldt State University in Northern California, dancing all along the way, and eventually earning a BA in Philosophy in 1985. During her college career, she studied ballet, modern, jazz, and African dance and performed with Humboldt State Repertory Dance Theater and the Arcata Dance Cooperative.
In other walks of life, Diane has studied Apparel Design at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and uses those skills for dreaming up costumes and props as well as sewing on missing buttons. She has worked as a cook and deli manager for natural foods co-ops and enjoys growing and eating fruits and vegetables from her backyard garden. She is a loving wife and devoted mother of two boys. Diane continues to blend her passion for dance with her interest in education, believing that dance is for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, for the abled and the disabled, for every gender, and for those who dance recreationally as well as those who dance professionally.